Free early education funding only applies until a child either starts school reception after the child’s fourth birthday or reaches compulsory school age (the term following the child’s fifth birthday).
Where a parent chooses to defer their child’s school place and their child is of compulsory school age, the free early education funding will not continue at the parents chosen provider.
Some families are also entitled to up to 15 hours' free childcare a week for their 2-year-old if they are on low incomes or certain benefits.
Some nurseries, pre-schools or childminders registered to give early education may be able to 'stretch' the funding over 52 weeks but it would be advisable to check with individual providers to find out if they are able to do this.
The free nursery education can be provided by:
Search for free early education places
- private, voluntary or independent sector nurseries and pre-schools
- nursery schools or nursery units in infant or primary schools
- childminders registered to provide early education
Or you can contact Call Derbyshire:
When children are eligible for free nursery education
If your child's birthday is 1 January to 31 March - first term eligible is Easter (term 5).
If your child's birthday is 1 April to 31 August - first term eligible is September (term 1).
If your child's birthday is 1 September to 31 December - first term eligible is January (term 3).
Applying for free nursery education
Once you know what there is in your area, make contact with providers to find out what they offer.
When you have chosen a provider they will ask you to complete any necessary forms and then notify us so that we can process the payments.
Remember to contact providers well before your child becomes eligible, to check whether there are vacant places.