The purpose of this Q&A is to answer the most common questions about the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) which have been raised following the publication of the government response to the consultation on the EYPP in October. This Q&A is not intended to provide extensive guidance, which will be published later this year.
Do children have to access the full early education entitlement (i.e. 570 hours) to be eligible for the EYPP?
No, from April 2015 providers will receive an additional 53p per hour for each eligible child. Children do not have to access the full entitlement in order to be eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium. Providers will receive EYPP funding that is proportionate to the number of hours that a child is taking up.
Will settings that have been rated by Ofsted as ‘requiring improvement’ be eligible to receive the funding?
Yes, all providers delivering funded early education places will be eligible to receive the EYPP. We expect local authorities to remove any funding for the entitlement (including the EYPP) from a provider rated ‘inadequate’ as soon as practicable. Further guidance on funding early education places can be found in the Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance.
When do children start being eligible?
Three and four year olds will be eligible for the EYPP if they are accessing the early education entitlement and if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Children will become eligible at different points in the year depending on when they turn three/four. More information about the early education offer and the dates when children become eligible are available at: www.gov.uk/free-early-education
Children attending a primary school reception class already receive the school age pupil premium, and therefore will not be eligible for the early years pupil premium.
What happens if a child stays on in early years provision rather than joining a school reception class? Are they still eligible for the EYPP?
If a child is still receiving the early education entitlement (i.e. the 15 hours) and they meet the other criteria, they would still be eligible for the EYPP.
Will the EYPP count for ‘Ever6’ for determining eligibility for the pupil premium?
It will not currently be possible at this stage to include school-age children that have received the Early Years Pupil Premium at some point in the previous year in the Ever 6 group, as there is no way of tracking children from early years settings into school. If in future we extend the Unique Pupil Number into the early years we will revisit this.
Will the local authority where the child resides be responsible for checking the child’s eligibility or will it be the local authority where the setting is?
For most children, the local authority receiving funding for the early entitlement for a particular child will be responsible for carrying out the EYPP eligibility checks for that child. For looked after children, the local authority who has responsibility for the child will need to identify eligible children though the virtual school head.
How often will LAs have to check children’s eligibility?
Local authorities will only need to check children’s eligibility once a year. Local authorities should check as soon as a potentially eligible child is identified and then use their discretion as to when a second check takes place. For national consistency we recommend that this second check is at the start of the academic year in September. Local authorities are free to use a different date if it’s more suitable for local circumstances.
When can local authorities start checking children’s eligibility for the EYPP?
Local authorities should apply their discretion to decisions about the most appropriate time for checking children’s eligibility for the EYPP. They should be mindful, however, that a pre-requisite for the EYPP is that the child must be receiving the early entitlement. The most appropriate stage, therefore, would be at the point when the parent indicates that they wish to take up the three and four-year-olds offer on behalf of their child.
Local authorities would need to comply with data protection principles including by ensuring that data is processed fairly. This means that the parent should be informed that any personal details they provide will be used for the purposes of checking eligibility for the EYPP.
Will two year olds in receipt of the early education entitlement automatically qualify for the EYPP?
No, the eligibility criteria are different. The two year old entitlement includes about 40% of two year olds, including children who would not meet the EYPP eligibility criteria. The EYPP is focused on the most disadvantaged children. The eligibility criteria for the EYPP is therefore very tight, targeted at three and four year olds from economically disadvantaged households and those who are in care or have been in care.
What about looked after children who attend a setting in a local authority which is not the one responsible for the child? How are they identified?
In its response to the consultation on the EYPP, the Government announced that Virtual School Heads will be responsible for managing the EYPP relating to looked after children. This is with the same as the approach we have taken for the school age pupil premium. Virtual School Heads will be able to identify which looked after children in their local authority will attract the funding and working with the child’s social worker and foster carer, they will be able to identify the settings where the child is placed.
In your response you identify looked after children as eligible if they have been in the care of the local authority for at least one day. Can you clarify what you mean by one day?
Looked after children who have been in the local authority’s care for at least one day (or 24 hours) will be eligible for the EYPP. Children who have been in the local authority’s care for less than 24 hours do not qualify.
Would parents be notified of the outcome of checks?
Local authorities may wish to notify parents of the outcome of the check and to confirm whether or not the child is eligible for the EYPP.
Confirmation of eligibility should, in general, only be notified to the parent/carer of the child. There may be some very few situations where to notify an individual acting on behalf of the parent such as a social worker may be deemed appropriate but these will be the exception.
Which providers will be eligible?
All registered early years providers that take children for the funded early education entitlement – including school nurseries and maintained nursery schools; private, voluntary and independent providers; and childminders – will be eligible to claim the EYPP for eligible three- and four-year-olds.
Will local authorities top slice the EYPP?
No, the EYPP will be set at a national hourly rate. Local authorities will have no flexibility in determining the core group of eligible children, nor will they have any flexibility to vary the amount per child. Local authorities may choose to offer the EYPP to a wider group of children, or to fund at a rate higher than 53p/hour, if they believe that meets particular local needs, and will need to meet these costs out of local resources.
Will providers receive a full years funding for the child in a lump sum?
The EYPP will be paid alongside existing funding for the early education entitlement. As that is calculated and paid on a termly basis, we expect funding for the EYPP to work in the same way.
What if a child moves to a different provider partway through the year? Will the previous provider lose the funding?
Local authorities should only fund providers for the EYPP based on the number of hours of early education a child receives. An important principle of the EYPP is that the funding follows the child. This means that if a child moves to a different provider during the year, local authorities should determine the allocation of EYPP that is proportionate to the number of hours of early education that a child takes up at the new provider. Moving between providers should not result in loss of funding by providers as this should be calculated on actual number of hours.