Early Years Pupil Premium is additional funding for early years providers. This funding is used to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds.
A disadvantaged 3 and 4 year old will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for EYPP:
Their family gets 1 of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
Or, they are currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales
Or, they have left care in England or Wales through:
- an adoption
- a special guardianship order
- a child arrangement order
Children must receive free early education in order to attract EYPP funding. They do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to get EYPP.
Children become eligible for free early education at different points in the year depending on when they turn 3.
Identifying eligible children
Early years providers are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children. However, you should encourage providers to speak to parents to find out who is eligible for EYPP funding.
In particular, providers should speak to the parents of children who took up the early education entitlement for 2-year-olds, as most of these children will attract EYPP when they turn 3.
You must check the eligibility of any child a parent or provider alerts you to. In most cases you will have to check twice:
You should first check a child’s eligibility when a provider or parent tells you that a child may be eligible. If you wish to check a child’s eligibility before they begin to take up their free education entitlement, we suggest that you don’t do this more than a term in advance in case the family’s circumstances change.
You should check the child’s eligibility again in the academic year when the child is taking up their 4-year-old entitlement. This check will help you find out if the child’s circumstances have changed and they have stopped being eligible as a result. We recommend carrying out this second check at the beginning of the academic year in September, but you can use a different date if you wish.
In cases where a child becomes eligible when they are already 4 years old, you will not have to run a second check.
When you check a child’s eligibility, you should inform the child’s parents or legal carers of the outcome of the check. You should also inform the early years provider where the child receives their early years education. You shouldn’t inform anyone else.
Please be aware that once a child previously eligible for EYPP starts school they will not become automatically eligible for the school-age pupil premium.
Eligibility checking system
You can use the government's eligibility checking system (ECS) to check children’s eligibility for the EYPP.
Checking the eligibility of children who have been in local-authority care
You should follow a different process for identifying and checking the EYPP eligibility of children who:
- have been adopted from local-authority care
- have left care through a special guardianship order
- are subject to a child arrangements order
You won’t be able to check these children’s eligibility through ECS. Instead, the parents, adoptive parents or guardians of these children will have to show you evidence of the court order that proves that the child was formally in local-authority care in either England or Wales.