Universal 15 hours Early Education Entitlement

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Universal 15 hours Early Education Entitlement is funding made available to provide your 3 or 4 year old child with a funded part time nursery session before they reach statutory school age.

Middlesbrough Council aims to:

  • Support parents in accessing quality education for their child;
  • Deliver the nursery entitlement flexibly, taking into account the needs  of children and families; 

Your child is entitled to a maximum of 15 hours nursery education for 38 weeks of the academic year.  Sessions should be held for a minimum of 2.5 hours a day and a maximum of 10 hours a day. The 15 hours must be taken over a minimum of 2 days. Please see individual registered providers for their terms and conditions.
You could choose to take your entitlement over two registered providers; this is acceptable as long as the total amount does not exceed 15 hours per week.

When can my child start receiving the entitlement?

Child's Birthday

Eligible from:

 1 April to 31 August

 1 September following 3rd birthday         

 1 September to 31December            

 1 January following 3rd birthday

 1 January to 31 March

 1 April following 3rd birthday

You will need to make sure that your child is registered and attending your chosen childcare setting before the following headcount dates, in order for the setting to claim the funding from the Local Authority.

  • Summer Term (2023) headcount 18th May 2023
  • Autumn Term (2023) headcount 5th October 2023
  • Spring Term (2024) headcount 18th January 2024

How do I apply for a nursery place?
It is advisable you contact your preferred provider as soon as possible to ensure a nursery place is available as some providers do hold waiting lists. Click on the links below for a list of registered providers:

How do I know the setting is a quality provider?
Every session of nursery education provided should be of good quality and at least to the standard considered acceptable by OFSTED to deliver nursery education. All settings will have a copy of their latest OFSTED report available for you to read.

How does the funding work?
Your chosen provider will ask you to bring your child's birth certificate and ask you to sign a declaration form.
They will then claim the funding on your behalf from the Local Authority.
If you are accessing hours of childcare in excess of the 15 hours you will be charged for this service from the provider.

What happens if my child needs to move to a different nursery and leaves early?
Your nursery provider will inform the Local Authority on your behalf if your child moves nurseries or leaves early.

30 Hours Childcare
If both parents work you may be entitled to an extra 15 hours childcare (up to a total of 30 hours).  View more information on the 30hr entitlement.

Where can I request more information?
For further information on your child's entitlement please contact the Family Information Service 01642 354200

Who to contact

01642 354200 01642 354200
Middlesbrough Council Family Service Directory and Local Offer website
Scan to visit this website

Where to go

Hemlington Children Centre
Cass House Road


Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday - Thursday: 9.00am - 5.00pm Friday: 9.00am - 4.30pm


Age Ranges
3 and 4 year olds
Referral Details

Contact your preferred childcare provider

Page last reviewed: 27/04/2023


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