Early Years Bulletin

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Early years bulletin

3 January 2024


The headcount task will be available on the provider portal from Monday 8 January 2024, and headcount date for the Statutory Early Years Census is Thursday 18 January 2024.

The deadline for submission is Friday 19 January 2024. Please be aware that if you miss this deadline it could have an impact on when you receive your funding. 

In order to avoid late submissions, please make sure that your current log in details are working. Contact the Synergy support team at synergysupport@portsmouthcc.gov.uk if you have password issues that need resolving.

All providers must complete adjustment task 1 if there are any changes to their previously submitted actual headcount claim, which may include children starting or leaving the setting or an increase/decrease in funded hours.

Please note that the Synergy system does not support changes from a term time offer to a stretched offer within a funding period. If you have submitted a claim for a term time place on your actual task and a parent wants to change to a stretched offer mid-term you will need to advise them that they will have to wait until the following term in order to make those changes. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

The Spring term 2024 actual payments are being processed today and will be in providers bank accounts by Friday 5 January 2024, providers will also receive their remittance advice by then.


All providers must complete the Early Years Census (EYC) and the sufficiency audit. Please note the EYC is a statutory requirement for all Early Years providers and childminders who claim Early Years Funding for their children. Please ensure the data put into the EYC is accurate as our Early Funding income for next year is based on these actual figures.

Completing the sufficiency audit will inform our childcare places sufficiency assessment and planning for the expansion to the early education entitlements. It will also help us to support any providers in the city who are interested in expanding their provision, and finding suitable properties that may be available to rent or buy.

If you would like any support to complete this audit, please do contact your QSO who will be happy to assist.

Both of these will also be available on the provider portal from Monday 8 January 2024 with the same deadline for submission of Friday 19 January 2024. Both forms (census and sufficiency) will appear on the home screen before the funding tab and the guide for completing the EYC is available on the Traded Services website under the funding section on the Early Years resources page or you can find it at the button below.

Provider guidance - census  


You should all have received the consultation document with the new proposed funding figures from April 2024. If you have any comments, please return the form at the button below to eyfunding@portsmouthcc.gov.uk by the 5 January 2024. We apologise for the short turnaround with this, but we did not receive the information from the DfE until late in the term and so this was out of our control.

Consultation document


The EYSG payment for the spring term 2024 will be based on the data you submit on your adjustment task 1. We will prioritise any mid-term payments due to providers and 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. Any adjustments to these payments will reflect your adjustment 2 data submissions and be reconciled by the end of the funding period.

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.


All parents wanting to claim early education funding must have completed and signed a parental declaration form before a provider can run an eligibility code check or enter details into a headcount task. The current form has been amended to include the new working families entitlement for eligible two year olds from 1 April 2024. It also reflects that the eligibility for Early Years Pupil Premium and for Disability Access Fund will be extended to all children accessing the early education entitlements from 1 April 2024.

This form may be referred to during an audit from the local authority or if there are any double funding issues so it is important that parents fully understand this, especially if they have transferred from another setting. Please contact the funding team if a child transfers to you from another setting to verify the number of funded hours available for the term.

The form can be found on the Traded Services website under the funding section on the Early Years resources page or you can find it at the button below. Please use this version of the form from now on.

Parental declaration form


The application process for the working families entitlement for two-year-olds opens on 2 January through the Childcare Choices website. 

The current statutory guidance states that children should not start a new funded hours place at a provider during their grace period. Therefore, we are recommending parents apply between mid-January and the end of February to get their code in good time but avoid having to renew registration ahead of the start of the offer in April.

As with the 30 hours entitlement, parents will be issued with an 11 digit eligibility code that providers will need to verify. The advice from our colleagues in the Synergy support team is for providers to use the current eligibility checker function in the portal. Click on the 30 hours free childcare button and enter the details provided by the parents into the pop-up box and click submit to verify eligibility. Providers will then see a message showing the code start and end date as well as the grace period. This eligibility checker can be used for all of the working families entitlement and will be amended to reflect these changes during the spring term. If you have any problems using the 30 hours checker for the working families entitlement for two-year-olds please contact the funding team.

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