Early Years Bulletin

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Early years bulletin

4 October 2023


Signs4Life are running a 10 week accredited BSL program, 6 week non-accredited BSL program, deaf awareness and sign language workshop and Makaton programme. Course information and fees can be found below.

BSL programs, deaf awareness and sign language workshop

Makaton programme


We recently wrote to inform you of the additional payments that would be made to the hourly funding rate for two-, three- and four-year-olds. The uplift in hourly rates for autumn 2023 and spring 2024 terms are possible due to an Early Years Supplementary Grant which is a standalone top-up grant. From the autumn term 2023, for the 2-year-old entitlement all providers will receive an additional £2.03 per hour and for the 3- and 4-year-old entitlement all providers will receive an additional £0.52 per hour.

All providers will receive an additional £0.04 per hour for EYPP. Each child who becomes eligible for disability access fund (DAF) during the financial year 2023-24 will receive £858.92 (£828 + £30.92) in total.

We are currently working through the adjustment 1 headcount tasks and prioritising any mid-term payments. Once these payments are complete we will use the data that you have submitted to calculate and pay the additional EYSG to you, there is no need for you to do anything. Please note that these payments will not show in Synergy as they are part of a standalone top-up grant only for the autumn 2023 and spring 2024 terms.

Please complete the adjustment task 2 at the end of the term as usual if there have been any changes to children's hours or any children have left or joined your setting, the EYSG payment will be amended to reflect these changes.


We're pleased to announce that two new schemes have been launched under the Household Support Fund (HSF) that Portsmouth residents can apply for.

They are designed to target households who have missed out on other help that has been provided with the cost of living.

HSF Family Vouchers                               

Lower-income families with children who didn't qualify for a supermarket voucher from a school this summer can apply for a supermarket voucher code, worth £70 for each eligible child. Their total household earned income, in the month before applying, needs to be £1,350 or less.

HSF Cost of Living Payment                                                                                                     

People who missed out on the autumn 2022 and spring 2023 cost of living payments from the government can apply for a £120 payment. It is open to households in Portsmouth who first claimed a means-tested benefit after 26 September 2022, or who get housing benefit and no other means-tested income benefit.

People can find out more about who is eligible and how to apply at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/household-support. Applications can be made online or by ringing the dedicated HSF helpline.

See the FAQ and eligibility checker for each scheme at the link at the bottom of this article, along with a flyer and poster, which can be shared electronically. If you need any hard copies of either the flyer or poster, please contact hsffamilyvouchers@portsmouthcc.gov.uk to let them know how many of each you need, and where they will be used.

If you have any questions about either scheme you can contact the team at either hsffamilyvouchers@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or hsfcostofliving@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

We now have a dedicated team in place at the council to assess HSF applications, and the team is working to develop further schemes that will provide assistance to people in financial hardship. Updates on the help available will be shared at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/household-support and via the Cost of Living Hub and helpline.

HSF Cost of living payment FAQ

HSF Cost of living eligibility checker

HSF Family voucher FAQ

HSF Family voucher eligibility checker

HSF leaflet

HSF poster

Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch