Funding for the Early Years and Childcare Entitlement

Childcare funded entitlement for eligible two, three and four year olds

Childcare Choices

The Department for Education has developed a range of funding streams which enable children to access high quality childcare provisions. Find out more at Childcare Choices.

Checking eligibility for 2 years olds

Parents can see if their child is eligible by using the Citizen Portal. Alternatively, they can ask their childcare provider to carry out the check for them using the Provider Portal, or the provider can contact the Families Information Service on 01204 332170.


Early years funding rates 2023/2024

Please see below current September 2023 rates and following approval at the executive member for children's services meeting on 6th February, the new rates from April 2024.

EY rates Apr 24



Accessing out of borough childcare

Sometimes parents want their child to go to a childcare provider in another authority, to make it easier for them to get to work for example.

Funding can be accessed in any borough; it is the duty of the provider to report this on their headcount. This is a local agreement between authorities.

If a child from outside of Bolton wants to access their funding in a Bolton provision, it is advised that providers ask the parents if the child is accessing their funding anywhere else, prior to registering the child. This can be done by using the Parent Declaration form.

Further background checks will be undertaken by the Local Authority to ensure that children from other boroughs are not accessing funding elsewhere. Payments may need to be reimbursed from providers should an error be found or if a child is found to be accessing funding hours from another setting.


Rising Threes

Children in their last term before they become a funded three year old (i.e. the term of their third birthday) are known as 'rising threes'. Rising three children are not automatically eligible for any funded early education places. Funding can only be claimed if the child has had a successful eligibility check for two year old funding.

If a nursery does provide early education for a ‘rising three’ child who does not meet the criteria of the two year old funding, they will either need to fund these hours themselves, or charge the parent up to the point of the child becoming a funded three year old. Where rising three children are in a provision, staffing ratios for two year olds needs to be applied.

Funding for any rising three children who have had a successful two year old eligibility check can be claimed through the headcount.


Contact details

Early Years Finance Bolton