Early Years funding bulletin

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Early years bulletin

21 February 2024


Although parents were able to apply for and receive a code for the working families two year old entitlement from 2 January, the entitlement does not start until 1 April 2024. This has been communicated widely on the Childcare Choices website and in our updates to providers.

We have received feedback from some parents and providers that the messages that parents receive from HMRC are not that clear. The messages state that:

'You can access Free Childcare For Working Parents from the term following the date of this message, or the term after your child turns two, whichever is latest'.

So if the parent received the message between 1 January and 31 March 2024, the earliest they can take up a funded place is the following term which is from 1 April 2024.

Also the message from HMRC refers to the working parents childcare which is how to differentiate between the working families codes and the current two-year-old funding codes (for families receiving additional government support).


You should all have received an email confirming the outcome of the recent funding consultation and the final funding rates for 2024/25.

The hourly funding rates from 1 April 2024 are:

  • £5.50 for three- and four-year-olds.
  • £8.49 for all two-year-olds (both disadvantaged and working families' entitlements)
  • £11.59 for under 2s.

Deprivation hourly rates (three- and four-year-olds only) remain the same as in 2023-24, if you receive deprivation payments these will be added to the hourly rates above. You can view your funding rates on your summary page on the provider portal

If you require any business support please contact your linked quality sufficiency officer.

View the email


The Actual task will be available on the provider portal from Monday 19 February 2023. Please do not submit any data for your working families two year olds into the provider portal. There is a manual process for this - see article below. The deadline for submission is Friday 23 February 2024.

All providers will need to complete the task to claim early education funding for their two, three and four year olds who are registered to attend in the Summer term. Payments will be processed in the first week of April based on the information you submit to us.

Please remember:

  • Parents must have completed and signed the parental declaration forms before you add children to the headcount task. You may want to consider issuing this form to parents as part of your registration process.

You can still claim funding for children who start after the submission date by adding them to the adjustment period 1 headcount task, which will be available from 22 April 2024.


As you know the upgrades needed in Synergy (to collect data for the working families two year old entitlement) will not be available until after the start of the summer term. The EY team are currently testing the upgrade and will share with providers as soon as possible.

Therefore, we have created a manual process to support the data collection and payment process for the actual task for the summer term, just for the new working families two year old entitlement. The actual payment (based on the data you submit) will be processed during the first week of the funding period as usual. However, this won’t show on your summary page in Synergy but payment details will be shared with you by the EY team before adjustment task 1. 

The deadline for submission of the manual headcount is Friday 23 February 2024. Please return the completed spreadsheet to eyfunding@portsmouthcc.gov.uk with the subject heading - setting name: Summer Term 2024 Actual headcount.

View the working families (2yr olds) headcount claim form

View important dates and deadlines for 2024/25


The Childcare Choices campaign raises awareness and understanding of the government childcare support for parents to help them with the costs of childcare and drives them to the website to check the support they might be eligible for. The refreshed toolkit includes key information about the existing and upcoming childcare support, as well as a wide range of new digital and ready to print resources to use across your channels, including posters, leaflets, and social media graphics. The leaflet will soon be translated into 11 different languages which will be hosted here.

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