What is it and how much can we get?

The early years pupil premium (EYPP) is extra funding that local authorities (LAs) give early years providers to support disadvantaged children aged 3 and 4.

If your setting is eligible (see below), for the 2023-24 financial year, you’ll receive 62p per hour per eligible pupil, up to 570 hours – so up to £353 per year, per pupil.

This is outlined in the operational guide for early years entitlements (section 8.5).

Who’s eligible?

Your setting qualifies for the EYPP if it’s eligible to receive funding for the 3 and 4-year-old early education entitlement.

Children aged between 3 and 4 are eligible if they receive the universal 15 hours entitlement and meet any of the following criteria:

  • The child’s family receives 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 and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
    • Working tax credit run-on
    • Universal credit (household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits – this is assessed on up to 3 of the parent’s most recent universal credit assessment periods)
  • The child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales
  • The child has left care in England or Wales through:
    • An adoption order
    • A special guardianship order
    • A child arrangements order

See section 8.1 of the guidance, linked above.

Children become eligible the term after their 3rd birthday

Eligibility ends when the child starts in reception.

See section 8.5 of the guidance, linked above.

It’s your responsibility to identify eligible children

As the early years provider, you need to let your LA know which children in your setting are eligible for the EYPP. To do this:

  • Speak to parents to find out, especially those who took up the early education entitlement for 2-year-olds, as many of these children will be eligible for the EYPP when they turn 3
  • Ask parents to fill in the parent declaration template in the DfE’s model agreement for free early years provision and childcare (see annex A)

For children in LA care, it’s the responsibility of the virtual school head (VSH) to identify eligible children.

See section 8.2 of the guidance, linked above.

There are no set conditions for using the funding

The DfE believes providers will use the funding most effectively “where they have the flexibility to innovate and to spend it on the strategies they think will be most effective”. A DfE representative told us this.

However, it’s worth remembering that while you can decide how to spend the EYPP, you’re accountable for the quality of the education you provide to your disadvantaged pupils, through Ofsted inspections.

Take a look at some case studies on the Foundation Years website that show effective use of the EYPP.

Examples of EYPP spending

While you must publish certain information online relating to the pupil premium grant, you don’t need to do this with your EYPP spending.

However, some schools and nurseries have chosen to publish this information on their websites:

  • Arnold Nursery School and Children’s Centre has published a strategy statement using the DfE’s template (though this is not a requirement for EYPP)
  • Heath Lane Nursery School in Hertfordshire has published a plan for spending that identifies areas of support for children eligible for EYPP
  • Hallfield Primary School in Westminster has published strategic plans and reviews of EYPP spending