Free Early Learning


Your child will become eligible for 15 hours free early learning per week for 38 weeks of the year the beginning of the term following their third birthday. This eligibility will continue until your child starts primary school.

In the Psalter Lane Nursery a morning session is 9 am until 12 noon (3 hours) and the afternoon session 12.30 pm until 3.30 pm (3 hours). Your 3/4 year old child is therefore entitled to five sessions of free early learning per week for 38 weeks of the year.

This equates to five mornings or five afternoon sessions or a combination of both free of charge. Should you wish to take up a full day option, in accordance with our fees list a full day of attendance I.e 9 am until 3.30 pm with attract of charge of £5.00 per day to cover the part of the day uncovered by the nursery grant..

Your child’s 15 hour entitlement to free early learning may be split between no more than two childcare providers who will claim the funding on your behalf. At the start of each term you will be asked to sign a Parental Agreement Form to confirm how many hours per week and weeks of the term you intend your child to attend. You will also be asked to show your child’s birth certificate or passport as proof of I.D. and your child’s eligibility to access free early learning.

Your child’s funding is linked to their actual attendance at nursery. In some circumstances e.g. if they are ill it will be paid in their absence. However if you take a family holiday during the 38 funded weeks, only the first two weeks of your holiday will be funded each term. If you wish to move to a different nursery partway through a term you will be asked to give four weeks notice. Within this period you will not be able to claim funding at another provider.


The Psalter Lane nursery is registered as an approved provider to offer places to 2 year old children who are entitled to 15 hours free early learning per week for 38 weeks of the year.

Eligibility Criteria for two year old free early learning:-

A two year old must meet at least one of the criteria below:-

A. Their parent meets the criteria used for free school meals (i.e they are in receipt of one of the following benefits)

  • Income support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

B. Their families receive working tax credits and have a gross annual income of no more than £16,190 per year.

C. The child attracts Disability Living Allowance.

D. The child:

  • Has a current statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • Is looked after by the Local Authority.
  • Has left care via adoption.
  • Has left care via Special Guardianship Order.
  • Has left care via Residence order.

How To Apply

  • Online
  • Phone Customer First 0114 2734567, option 4 then option 5.
  • In person at First Point, Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield City Centre. Howden House is located close to the Peace Gardens and the ‘cheesegrater’ car park and is open 8.30 am until 5.30 pm.

When can an application be made ?

An application can be made from the beginning of the term in which the child becomes two.

Age Criteria

A child can begin their 2 year funded FEL place from the beginning of the term after their second birthday.

Childcare vouchers

The nursery accepts all childcare vouchers from employer’s childcare schemes.

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