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Early years pupil premium: guide for local authorities
How much funding local authorities receive for the early years pupil premium, and how they should distribute it to early years providers.
The early years pupil premium (EYPP) is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds.
Early years providers are any organisation offering education for children aged under 5, including nurseries and childminders.
You should involve your virtual school head (VSH) in identifying and funding the EYPP for looked-after children in your area.
3- and 4-year-olds in state-funded early education will attract EYPP funding if they meet at least 1 of the following criteria:
their family gets 1 of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
- they are currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales
- they have left care in England or Wales through:
- an adoption
- a special guardianship order
- a child arrangement order
Children must receive free early education in order to attract EYPP funding. They do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to get EYPP.
Children become eligible for free early education at different points in the year depending on when they turn 3. Details of the dates when children become eligible are available.
Please note that 4-year-olds in primary school reception classes who already receive the school-age pupil premium are not eligible for EYPP funding.
Identifying eligible children
Early years providers are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children. However, you should encourage providers to speak to parents to find out who is eligible for EYPP funding.
In particular, providers should speak to the parents of children who took up the early education entitlement for 2-year-olds, as most of these children will attract EYPP when they turn 3.
You must check the eligibility of any child a parent or provider alerts you to. In most cases you will have to check twice:
You should first check a child’s eligibility when a provider or parent tells you that a child may be eligible. If you wish to check a child’s eligibility before they begin to take up their free education entitlement, we suggest that you don’t do this more than a term in advance in case the family’s circumstances change.
You should check the child’s eligibility again in the academic year when the child is taking up their 4-year-old entitlement. This check will help you find out if the child’s circumstances have changed and they have stopped being eligible as a result. We recommend carrying out this second check at the beginning of the academic year in September, but you can use a different date if you wish.
In cases where a child becomes eligible when they are already 4 years old, you will not have to run a second check.
When you check a child’s eligibility, you should inform the child’s parents or legal carers of the outcome of the check. You should also inform the early years provider where the child receives their early years education. You shouldn’t inform anyone else.
Please be aware that once a child previously eligible for EYPP starts school they will not become automatically eligible for the school-age pupil premium.
Eligibility checking system
You can use our eligibility checking system (ECS) to check children’s eligibility for the EYPP.
The Small, Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 provides legal authority to use the ECS for this purpose.
Checking the eligibility of children who have been in local-authority care
You should follow a different process for identifying and checking the EYPP eligibility of children who:
- have been adopted from local-authority care
- have left care through a special guardianship order
- are subject to a child arrangements order
You won’t be able to check these children’s eligibility through ECS. Instead, the parents, adoptive parents or guardians of these children will have to show you evidence of the court order that proves that the child was formally in local-authority care in either England or Wales.
Funding for EYPP
Financial year 2015 to 2016
In the financial year 2015 to 2016, we will base the initial amount of EYPP funding each local authority receives on an estimate of how many eligible children will take up their entitlement.
We have calculated this estimate by looking at how many:
- 3- and 4-year-olds take up their entitlement to free early education in your area
- older children take up free school meals in your area
In autumn 2015 we will collect data from local authorities about EYPP take-up. You should therefore record:
- how many eligible children in your area are taking up their entitlement to EYPP
- how many hours of early years provision these children are receiving
- the reason why these children are eligible
This data will help us adjust the figures and make sure you receive the right amount of funding for 2015 to 2016.
Financial year 2016 to 2017 onwards
- how many eligible children in your area are taking up their entitlement to EYPP
- the eligibility criteria these children meet
We will use this data to calculate how much funding we give each local authority in future financial years.
Distributing EYPP funding to early years providers
You must fund all eligible early years providers in your area at the national rate of 53p per hour per eligible pupil. You can find more information about this national rate in the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2014.
This means that in the financial year 2015 to 2016, providers will receive £302.10 for each eligible child who takes up the full 570 hours of state-funded early education they are entitled to.
Please note that the way you should distribute EYPP funding for looked-after children is different.
You should allocate the funding to early years providers based on:
- how many eligible pupils they have
- how many hours of state-funded early years education these children take up
You can’t place conditions on the funding.
This means that EYPP funding should follow the eligible child rather than the provider. If a child moves to a different provider part way through the year, they should not lose any of their funding because you will have calculated the amount of EYPP each provider gets based on the hours of take-up.
You can treat the EYPP like other supplementary payments to the hourly rate set in your local early years single funding formula. For example, in cases where you fund the provider on a termly rather than an hourly basis (eg schools with early years provision), you can pay providers for one-third of the full early years entitlement (ie 190 hours’ worth of EYPP) per eligible child per term.
In cases where a child who lives in your area receives early education at a provider based in a different local authority, the provider’s local authority is responsible for:
- funding the EYPP for the child
- checking the child’s eligibility
You may wish to offer providers extra funding for disadvantaged children who don’t meet the EYPP eligibility criteria. You may also wish to pay providers more than the national rate for children who attract EYPP. You will have to meet the costs out of your local resources if you do either of these things.
You must record details about how you distribute your EYPP allocations in the section 251 return.
All early years providers who are eligible to receive funding for the 3- and 4-year-old early education entitlement are also eligible to receive the EYPP.
However, if any of these providers receives an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted, you must stop their early education funding (including EYPP) as soon as practicable. More guidance is available in the ‘Early education and childcare’ statutory guidance for local authorities.
Childminders who are registered with a childminder agency receive their funding through that agency. You should pay the childminder’s EYPP to the agency and they will pass it on to the childminder.
EYPP for children who are in local authority care
Virtual school heads (VSH) are responsible for managing EYPP funding for looked-after children.
The VSH in your local authority will be responsible for identifying the looked-after children who are eligible for EYPP funding. This will include any looked-after children who live in your local authority, even those who get their early years education with a provider based in a different local authority. You will receive EYPP funding for looked-after children through your dedicated schools grant. Once you have this funding, you should pass it on to your VSH.
Guidance for VSHs on managing the EYPP is available.
Published: 27 November 2014
Updated: 27 March 2015
- Updated information about using the eligibility checking system (ECS) to check children’s eligibility for the EYPP.
- Added details of how local authorities should distribute EYPP funding, and clarified guidance on managing EYPP for looked-after children. Also included information on how we calculate the amount of funding each local authority receives.
- First published.
From: Department for Education
Related guides: Pupil premium: virtual school heads’ responsibilities