Policy: Early Years Funding

Here we talk through our approach to early years funding, helping parents know what options they have, when they might qualify to receive it and how we can help you sort it all out...

Early Years Funding

Ofsted registered settings can opt to deliver funded places for 2 year olds, and / or 3-4 year olds. At Hatching Dragons, we offer a limited number of fully funded places which will be allocated ahead of each term on the days where there is greatest availability. These places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and can be booked a term in advance. Please note for admissions for the funded nursery education we have a termly intake, beginning the term following your child’s second or third birthday depending on your eligibility criteria

All funded sessions are now in line with the flexible arrangement as specified by the Government. When you register your child for their funded place we will discuss your needs and, as far as possible with availability and staffing arrangements, we will accommodate your wishes. Those applying for fully funded places with us will have their registration fees waived, should there be availability.

15 or 30 Hours

  • 2 yr old children of eligible families will benefit from 15 hours a week of funded childcare over a 38 week year, the equivalent of 570 hours / year
  • There is a universal benefit of 15 hours / week of funded childcare over a 38 week year, the equivalent of 570 hours, for all 3 and 4 year old children in England - this is applicable the term after the child turns 3
  • From September 2017, working families in England are entitled to an additional 15 hours a week for 3 and 4 year olds, so a total of 30 hours in all, a total of 1140 hours a year, if they qualify (see conditions) - this is applicable the term after the child turns 3

Tax Free Childcare

Parents also have the universal benefit of tax free childcare which sees the HMRC pay 20% of childcare fees on behalf. Parents should review the tax free childcare website and register for their benefits.

Spreading the benefit

As a day nursery provider, we do not operate a 38 week, term based calendar, and so spread the 38 week benefit across the full year. We charge fees on a monthly basis, and so allocate your total annual hours (570 if on the 15 hour funded arrangement or 1140 if on the 30 hour funded arrangement) against a weekly entitlement of:

  • 11.17 hours / week if on the 15 hour arrangement (570 hrs in year divided by 51 weeks of operations)
  • 22.35 hours / week if on the 30 hour arrangement (1140 hrs in the year divided by 51 weeks of operations)

Should parents have a preference for only in-term provision on a 38 week year programme of care, we advise liaising with the nursery management and finance department (finance@hatching-dragons.com) to clarify your preference and to agree ahead of time. Note this will mean that you will not be eligible for any care during holiday periods, and would therefore have to apply for one of our holiday camp packages, which would not be funded.

The termly cycle



Submission Deadline

Spring Term

January - March


Summer Term

April - August


Winter Term

September - December


Parents must submit their parent declaration forms by the due date deadlines for funding to be secured and assume full liability for the fees if they fail to comply. We will issue out parent declarations each term to parents to countersign and submit on your behalf, but it is your responsibility to ensure that we are in receipt of the relevant documentation in time. 

Fully Funded Places

We offer a limited number of fully funded places for children. These places are offered for our standard monolingual childcare offer - children will not benefit from the bilingual immersion programme - and are offered on a case by case basis, ahead of each term, subject to availability within each of the schools. 

These places are offered “free” on the basis that the Local Authority will pay the funded hours on behalf of parents. Parents need to register in time for the term’s start date (Registration fees will be waived for those on the fully funded arrangement) and submit the parent declaration forms by the required deadline in order to qualify for the funded place. Note if you fail to provide the nursery with the required documentation in time, you will bear the liability of the fees or risk losing your place. 

Note that we will not be able to take on board families mid-term should the local authority not support retrospective funding applications within the period - parents will assume the liability to pay those fees until the subsequent funding period begins. 

Bilingual Programme Surcharge

For those interested in the bilingual immersion programme a surcharge will apply for the provision of that additional curricula output. These surcharges are calculated as Full Nursery Fees less your Funded Hours, and will be outlined on the monthly invoice payable as a chargeable element to your provision of care with us each month.