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Free Nursery Entitlement for 2,3 and 4 year olds


Qualifying two year olds and every child from the term after their third birthday are entitled to up to 570 hours free nursery provision a year until the term before they start school. These sessions are funded by the Local Authority and are known as the ‘Free Universal Entitlement’.

In addition, working parents / carers of 3 and 4 year olds who meet the qualifying criteria are eligible for an additional 570 hours (1,140 in total) free nursery provision a year until they start school. These sessions are also funded by the Local Authority and are known as the ‘Free Extended Entitlement’.

Parents / carers apply for the both entitlements via the nursery by completing the Free Entitlement Registration Form. Application for the Extended Entitlement requires a 30 hours eligibility code, which parents / carers must first apply for on-line through the Government’s Childcare Service.

Both entitlements are subject to Government and Local Authority terms and conditions which Mama Bear’s are obliged to work within and which may change without notice.

How are we delivering the Free Entitlement at Mama Bear's?

It is Mama Bear’s policy to support parents / carers by offering the Free Entitlement flexibly and completely free, without additional or hidden charges (such as for meals or other consumables), as detailed below. The dates of the funded weeks will vary from year to year, details will be issued to our parents once the Local Authorities advise us.

As part of a fee-paying nursery place:

All year round: Under the Universal Entitlement the first 12 hours per week are free of charge for 47.5 weeks of the year. The free hours per week are doubled to 24 for those qualifying for the Extended Entitlement. Parents / carers may choose from any of our available sessions, with a maximum of 10 hours free in any one day.
Term time only: Up to 15 hours per week (Universal Entitlement) or 30 hours per week (Extended Entitlement) for 38 weeks of the year. In order to help us balance demand these places are limited in availability and are restricted to 5 and 10 hour sessions only (8.00am-1.00pm, 1.00pm-6.00pm, 8.00am-6.00pm). Free Entitlement hours cannot be used for any other sessions on a term time only basis.

Free Entitlement-only:

All year round: Up to 12 hours per week (Universal Entitlement) or 24 hours per week (Extended Entitlement), 47.5 weeks of the year. Parents / carers may choose from any of our available sessions, with a maximum of 10 hours free in any one day.
Term time only: Up to 15 hours per week (Universal Entitlement) or 30 hours per week (Extended Entitlement) for 38 weeks of the year. In order to help us balance demand these places are limited in availability and are restricted to 5 and 10 hour sessions only (8.00am-1.00pm, 1.00pm-6.00pm, 8.00am-6.00pm). Free Entitlement hours cannot be used for any other sessions on a term time only basis.

For more information about the criteria for two year old funding please click on the relevant link below:

Bristol childcare for two year olds
South Gloucestershire childcare for two year olds
Somerset childcare for two year olds
Torbay childcare for two year olds
Plymouth childcare for two year olds

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If your enquiry is about working at Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and our career opportunities, please visit our career pages or email our HR Department.