Free Entitlement Funding (FEF)

What is FEF?

FEF stands for Free Entitlement Funding and is a government scheme which allows Tommies to offer free nursery places for up to 15 hours each week during school term time. FEF can be claimed at all Ofsted registered providers such as day nurseries, pre-schools, child-minders and out of school clubs.

How much free childcare does FEF provide?

A parent or carer can claim a maximum of 15 hours per week over three academic terms (Spring, Summer & Autumn). The total number of weeks over the three academic terms is 38.

Parents can either access just the 15 hours FEF over 38 weeks per year or a wrap model is available which will allow parents to take advantage of the free hours and take additional sessions to suit their needs. The value of the funding is split over the whole year so parents will pay the same amount each month. For information about how funding can be offered, please speak to the Nursery Manager.

A parent can use all 15 hours with Tommies Childcare or split the claim over two childcare providers. However, the total claim per child must not exceed 15 hours per week. If a parent uses FEF with another provider, Tommies Childcare will need to be notified so that the correct funding is claimed.

When does a child become eligible for FEF?

Children are eligible for FEF from the first term after the date they turn two or three years old to the last term before they attend school.

A child born on or before:
1 April and 31 August
1 September and 31 December
1 January and 31 March
Can access free places from:
The beginning of the Autumn term
The beginning of the Spring term
The beginning of the Summer term

If  you would like more information about FEF or would like to take up a place, please contact your local nursery or pre-school. You can also find our more information, including eligibility criteria for FEF for 2 year old’s, on your Local Authority’s website:

Coventry City Council
Warwickshire County Council

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

Tommies Childcare is able to claim additional funding for your child through the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP).

The EYPP was introduced in April 2015 to further support children’s development, learning and care. If you have older children then you may be aware that pupil premiums are available for school age children and the benefits they offer. The EYPP offers similar benefits for younger children.

The EYPP entitles nurseries to an additional 53p per hour of childcare for 3 & 4 year old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits, or if the child was previously in Local Authority care but left because they were adopted, subject to a Special Guardianship or Child Arrangements Order. Parents must also be in receipt of the 15 hours per week free entitlement funding in order to claim for the EYPP.

Nurseries can receive up to £302.00 a year per child that takes up free entitlement funding. This additional money can be put towards developing your child’s nursery. For example, the money can be used for additional staff training, new nursery equipment or maintenance which will allow us to improve the quality of early year’s education that Tommies provides.

Research has shown that high quality early year’s education can influence how well a child does at both primary and secondary school, so it is important to make the most of this additional funding.

If you would like more information about the EYPP, please contact your nursery manager.

Tax Credits

The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is intended to help working parents on a low income with the costs of childcare. The amount of financial support you could receive will depend on your income, childcare costs, the number of children you have and your family circumstances.

The Childcare Element can cover up to 70% of your childcare costs. The maximum costs that will be covered by Tax Credits is currently set at £175.00 per week for one child and £300.00 per week for 2 or more children. The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is paid to the main carer alongside Child Tax Credit.

You can check to see if you are eligible to receive the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit, how much you might receive and make a claim by calling the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or by visiting:

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme, which provides eligible working parents up to £2,000 per child (£4,000 if disabled) towards nursery fees.

The scheme works by opening an online account through the government website, and for every £8 you put in, the government will contribute an additional £2. To qualify, you and any partner must be earning a minimum of £120 per week and no more than £100,000 each per year.

Unlike childcare vouchers, any eligible family can use the Tax-Free Childcare scheme because it doesn’t rely on your employer offering it.

To find out more about Tax-Free Childcare, or to apply, please visit:

Childcare Vouchers

If your employer provides a childcare voucher scheme then you can save money on tax and National Insurance. You can receive childcare vouchers in return for a reduction in your pay, this is known as a ‘salary sacrifice’. The reduction takes place before income tax and National Insurance is deducted which can be a very helpful way of reducing your childcare fees.