Free pre-school education
Your child is entitled to up to 15 hours of free entitlement per
week. This can be taken over a minimum of 2 days of not less than
2.5 hours per day or no more than 10 hours per day, between the
hours of 7am and 7pm, for 38 weeks each year. Currently in Kent
these 38 weeks are in line with our school term dates.
This funding starts the term following your child's third
When can my child start?
A child is eligible for the free entitlement in line with the
DfE table below:
- 1 January to 31 March - Start of term beginning in April
- 1 April to 31 August - Start of term beginning in
- 1 September to 31 December - Start of term beginning in
Where can my child access his/her place?
Your child can access a place at any of the following:
- Private day nursery
- Pre-school playgroup
- Independent school
- Nursery school or nursery class in an infant or primary school
including special schools
- Childminder who is part of an accredited network
However, providers must be registered with both OfSTED and Kent
County Council to offer the service so please check directly with
the provider or call the Kent Children and Families Information
Service on 08000 32 32 30 to find out.
How do I claim the Free Early Education funding or access
my child’s free place?
Approach the provider of your choice to request a place after
you have checked that they are registered with Kent County Council.
When you have secured a place, Kent County Council will fund the
What if I want more hours than my free entitlement?
If you want your child to have more hours per week you will have
to pay the extra cost yourself.
Where can I get more information about the Early Years
The Government’s Department for Education published an
information pack and leaflet for parents. This is available from