FE stands for Free Entitlement and is made up of government schemes that allow nurseries to offer up to 1,140 hours per year of free childcare.
All children are eligible to access Universal Free Entitlement hours from the term after their 3rd birthday until they go to school or the term after their 5th birthday, whichever is sooner.
We are delighted to also trial the government’s Extended Entitlement for eligible children who attend the nursery four or five days a week.
How it works at Teepee
To increase the flexibility for parents, Teepee Day Nursery stretches this entitlement across 51 weeks each year. Therefore children can access up to 22 hours and 20 minutes each week (subject to minimum attendance patterns) completely free of charge.
When you claim FE hours in your first term, it is essential that as parents you complete and sign the Parent Declaration Form and return it to the Nursery Manager. Without this form we are unable to claim your child’s Free Entitlement hours from the local authority.
To help you, we’ve put together answers to a list of frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that aren’t covered below, please do contact us.
When does a child become eligible for FE?
Eligibility dates are set by the Department of Education and are based on school term dates.
Children are eligible for FE from the first term after the date they turn three years old to the last term before they attend school.
· Children born between 1 January and 31 March become eligible in the Summer term
· Children born between 1 April and 31 August become eligible in the Autumn Term
· Children born between 1 September and 31 December become eligible in the Spring Term
How are FE hours claimed?
The Universal FE (15 hours) can be claimed by parents or guardians by signing a declaration at the beginning of each term. These declarations confirm the child details and the number of hours of FE funding being claimed.
You need to be eligible to claim the Extended FE – a further 15 hours (30 hours FE in total) and can check this using the government’s Childcare Choices website. From this you will receive your eligibility code (DERN code), which you will need to complete the paperwork.
For each term’s claim, a child must be in attendance at the nursery on or before the term Headcount Date advised by the Local Education Authority. The Headcount Date is a specific date usually towards the beginning of each term.
If a child starts at the nursery after the Headcount Date, the Nursery will request parents to complete and sign a parent declaration and will submit a claim to the local authority. Parents will be advised that funding is not guaranteed until confirmation is received from the local authority and therefore will be liable for fees due.
If a child leaves during a term, parents must give written notice in accordance with our terms and conditions and FE hours will continue to be allocated to your child until the date of leaving.
How is FE reflected in invoices and payments?
In line with the government statutory guidance, the nursery offers the FE hours ‘free at point of delivery’. This means that parents will see on their invoice how many FE hours have been accessed each month and clearly see a zero charge.
What happens if my booking patterns change?
Any mid-term adjustments to your regular booking pattern that result in an increase in the amount of Free Entitlement hours which you are entitled to claim have to be agreed by the local authority and may not take effect until the next term. A new parent declaration form must then be completed if the number of Free Entitlement hours being claimed changes.
Can I access FE hours only?
Teepee Day Nursery offers completely free hours (in accordance with the FE scheme). Parents wishing to register for a completely free place will not be required to pay a deposit or registration fee. Places are subject to availability and are offered between 7am – 10am and 4pm – 7pm each day.
If at a later date you decide to opt to purchase additional sessions a deposit will be required at that time.
The Extended Entitlement is only available to children doing four days or more at the nursery.
Where can I find out more on FE?
You can find out more on the Bracknell Forest website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.