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Early Years

Two-year-old children in care are eligible for up to 15 hours of early education and childcare funded by the government each week for 38 weeks a year. This can be taken with registered early years providers (including childminders), schools and nursery schools. The child become eligible the term after their 2nd birthday (see table below).

Children born in the period Become entitled for funding at the start of the funding period or following Funding period
1 January - 31 March 1 April Summer
1 April - 31 August 1 September Autumn
1 September - 31 December 1 January Spring

All three and four-year-old children in England are currently entitled to 15 hours of early education and childcare funded by the government each week for 38 weeks a year (known as universal funding). In addition to the universal 15 hours of government funding, some families may be entitled to claim an extra 15 hours of childcare per week bringing the total to 30 hours. This is known as Extended Entitlement government funding which has its own set of requirements that foster carers will need to meet and needs to be agreed as part of the child’s care plan.

When the child turns three and they start receiving universal funding, they then also become eligible for Early Year Pupil Premium (EYPP)

To receive EYPP, the child must be 3 or 4 years old and be receiving government funded early education with an Early Years provider (including childminders) or school. The funding goes direct to the Early Years provider. The Early Years provider will use this funding to support and help improve outcomes for that child and foster carers are welcome to make suggestions.

The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a literacy scheme that the Virtual School supports for Cambridgeshire children in care.

All children in care aged between 0 and 5 who are registered on to the scheme will receive a book through the post every month for them to keep. All titles in the Imagination Library are published by Penguin Random House and carefully selected by a panel of experts in early childhood literacy and reading.

Please contact a member of the virtual school team for any queries or support around Early Years funding or the Dollywood scheme.

Useful links:

Funded hours for eligible 2 year olds - Cambridgeshire County Council

Useful Documents

Dollywood leaflet 2023498KBpdf
Size: 498KBFile format: pdf


Claire Hiorns - Head Teacher

Cambridgeshire Virtual School


phone: 01223 699883