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Expression of Interest - Early Years Financial Incentive

The aim of the Department for Education's - Early Years Financial Incentive (EYFI) Pilot is to incentivise the recruitment of the Early Years Workforce. This will involve a 'Golden Hello' payment of up to £1000 (free of tax and NI deductions) being made to new early years employees who meet the criteria, 12 weeks after successful recruitment.

To participate in the EYFI, settings and individuals must meet a range of criteria and will be required to submit information for data collection and reporting purposes. Further details will be shared in Staffordshire County Council EYFI Terms and Conditions which will be shared with providers after an Expression of Interest form is submitted.



To be eligible to participate in the EYFI pilot, settings need to meet the following criteria:

  • Registered to offer Early Education Funding (EEF) and are currently claiming.

  • Not a childminder and not recruiting to a primary school reception class.

  • Your Early Years setting is located within Staffordshire Local Authority. (EEF is provided by Staffordshire County Council), and this is the setting that you will be recruiting to.

To be eligible to receive the EYFI payment new employees must be:

  • New to, or returning to early years (no has not worked in a setting for 6 months).

  • Taking on a permanent position in a setting within Staffordshire Local Authority.

  • Working directly with children for at least 70% of time.


  • Positions with an EYFI should be advertised through the usual channels such as job advertisement platforms, social media, DWP Find a job platform and DfE Early years and childcare recruitment campaign.

  • Positions with an EYFI must be advertised on the Staffordshire Jobs and Careers website on the dedicated Early Years page, clearly highlighting they are offering a Golden Hello!

  • Adverts including the EYFI must clearly detail the eligibility criteria detailed above for new employees.

Successful Appointment

  • Once an individual has been appointed then both the provider and the individual will be required to submit information to the council, via electronic return for data collection and monitoring.

  • This will include information relating to the position that has been appointed, number of applications received and confirmation of eligibility to receive the EYFI. Full details of this are included in the Terms and Conditions.

Payment to Provider

  • On return of the required information, the EYFI payment will be paid to providers through their existing bank account where they receive payments for funded childcare places.

  • The amount paid will be ‘grossed up’ to cover National Insurance and Tax to ensure that the new employee receives the full £1000 as a net payment.

Confirmation of Payment to Employee

  • Providers must pass on the £1000 payment to the eligible new employee after they have completed 12 weeks in post.

  • 12 weeks post-employment, and by the 17th week, both the provider and the EYFI employee will be required to return an electronic EYFI Evaluation to confirm that the EYFI has been paid to the employee after they have been working for the provider for 12 weeks.

Data Collection and Reporting

  • To support data collection and reporting participating providers will be required to share information through the electronic evaluation forms relating to posts advertised with an EYFI.

Expression of Interest

  • An Expression of Interest (EOI) should only be submitted if the setting has a position to recruit to.

  • An EOI must be submitted for each setting that wants to be part of the pilot. 

Providers can participate in EYFI by adding their information to and submitting an expression of interest form. 



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