Funded Places

The Government currently provides funding for all 3- and 4-year olds to attend a registered early years setting. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible (these places have to be applied for via the Bristol City Council website). At the City Farm, this funding operates all year round and covers a maximum of 12 hours care per week. The funding can be accessed for a minimum of 1 hour per day and up to a maximum of 10 hours per day in any session.

3- and 4-year-old children

Every child will be entitled to a maximum of 12 hours free provision (known as universal hours) from the term after their third birthday until they start school. Terms are split into three academic periods, September to December, January to March and April to August.

Child’s 3rd birthday Able to access 12 hours free care
Between 1 April and 31 August From the following 1 September
Between 1 September and 31 December From the following 1 January
Between 1 January and 31 March From the following 1 April


Some families may also be eligible to 12 hours extended funding. To see if you are eligible visit the Childcare Choices website.


2-year-old children

Some 2-year-olds in England can also get free early education. The start date and time limits are the same as for 3- and 4-year olds. You must be getting one of the following to qualify:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income not over £16,190
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • children looked after by a local council are also entitled to a place

To check if you are eligible for free childcare go to the Bristol City Council web page below or call 0117 922 2000.

Early education and childcare

From September 2014 more 2-year-olds in England will be eligible for free early education. As well as the current rules, a child will then also be eligible if any of the following apply:

  • you get Working Tax Credits and earn no more than £16,190 a year
  • they have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order

To check if you are eligible for free childcare go to the Bristol City Council web page below or call 0117 922 2000.

Early education and childcare

Up-to-date information about funded places can also be found on the webpage below.

Free early education

Additional notes

Attending more than one setting

You can choose to take up the free entitlement with up to two providers in any one day. Please remember that the City Farm offer funding on an all year round basis (ie 12 hours per week) when calculating the number of hours claimed at each setting. Please ensure that you inform us of the number of hours claimed at another setting. The termly Parental Agreement includes a section for this information.

Additional charges

Meals are an integral part of the learning at the City Farm. If this takes place during a session that your child attends you will be charged for the breakfast, lunch or tea (please ask to see our current price list for charges). The option to bring a packed lunch for your child is available by arrangement; please speak to a member of staff. Sessions are also available that do not include meals, please ask for details.

A deposit will be payable for any meal charges plus any hours used that exceed the 12 hours per week and parents/carers will be invoiced and be expected to pay for the extra hours accessed per month as outlined in our fee paying policy.

Starting school

From 1 September after your child is 4 years old, all funding is transferred to your chosen school even if your child has a staggered start or is not due to start school until part way through September. This means that no funding is available for sessions agreed after 31 August.

If you are deferring your child’s start at school or have not accepted your offered school place and have joined a waiting list you may be entitled to claim – please speak to us about your options.

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