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Places for 3 & 4 year olds

Free part-time early years education for all 3 or 4 year old children.

The offer

  • Five sessions a week for 38 weeks per year
  • 15 hours per week
  • Each session lasting three hours
  • Some settings let you take the 15 hours per week over fewer days
  • Some settings let you 'stretch' the entitlement to cover school holidays


Children become entitled for a funded place on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September.

For example, if your child's third birthday is on 1 April 2016, they will become entitled for funded part-time early years education from the beginning of the autumn term in September 2016.

Where the Easter holiday falls does not affect eligibility.

We are also able to offer some places to eligible 2 year olds.

How to apply

Funding is paid directly to the childcare provider. Your childcare provider will ask you to complete a form each term and they sort out the funding - you do not need to do anything else.

The Southampton Information Directory lists providers approved by Ofsted and Southampton City Council.