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Funded Childcare Places Spring 2021

Information updated and accurate as of 4 March 2021

The Prime Minister confirmed on 4 January that early years settings (including governor run and maintained provision) can stay open for all early years aged children during lockdown.

January Update 2021 - Our initial guidance for spring was as follows:

  • Funding claims made on the spring 2021 interim/ forecast task (processed December 2020) will be paid as planned on approximately 22 January 2021
  • We initially extended our attendance policy which covers up to 20 days absence in a  term, to now cover up to February half term, (*on 9 Feb we extended this to 8 March 2021). This meant we honoured EEF claims between 1 Janaury - 8 March where absence occured due to the following:
    • settings close / bubbles must isolate due to a positive covid19 outbreak in staff or children
    • settings who do not have enough staff to meet ratios
    • settings with child illness, or parents are not yet confident or choose not to send children to education establishments during lockdown.

Update - Early Education Funding from 8 March 2021 until the end of spring term (31 March)

We will continue to fund EEF for the rest of spring term (up to 31 March) for the following circumstances where absence occurs:

  • Closures / bubble that must isolate due to a positive COVID-19 outbreak in staff or children
  • Settings who do not have enough staff to meet ratios*
  • Critically extremely vulnerable children (CEV) who are required to shield even if vaccinated*

*evidence will be required, to be advised.

From 8 March we expect all other children who are being claimed for EEF to be in attendance at their setting if it is open. Settings who have parents who choose not to send their children for any amount of time from 8 March should have the funding claim adjusted for that child in the amendment task for spring as funding will not be covered for this absence. Parents who state they do no wish to send their children should be made aware of the impact on funded hours for the rest of spring term and that they could incur additional charges from the setting.

Settings who are restricting access to ONLY children of critical workers/ vulnerable children

The government’s expectation is settings should be open for all children. Therefore, if a setting has made their own decision to only provide funded places during lockdown to children of critical workers and vulnerable children, the setting’s spring term funding could be impacted as a result of restrictions on those families instructed their children cannot attend as the DfE will not commit to funding absence at this time.


  • Settings are reminded that the current Staffordshire Provider Agreement (441 KB) remains active in its entirety. This means:

    • settings who permanently close will receive EEF up until the last day they are open (clause 13.20)

    • funding will follow the child if they move setting/ leave and settings will be paid EEF up until the child’s last day of attendance (clause 15.8)

    • settings can claim for new starters as long that child is physically attending the setting in spring term 2021.

    • Settings we asked to submit their actual headcount task (from 13 Jan) as normal.

We will continue to provide further updates as soon as we receive further communication.

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