Fees and funding


We charge an hourly fee depending on your child’s age.

April 2022 Fees

3/4 year olds         £5.50 per hour equivalent to £16.50 for a single 3 hour session

2 year olds             £16.00 per hour equivalent to £18.00 for a single 3 hour session

You will be invoiced termly with payments split into equal monthly instalments. Extra lunch clubs and additional sessions can be paid for on the day or added to your invoice. These un-booked sessions are charged at a higher rate.

Universal 15 hour funding for 3 and 4 year olds

Every child is eligible for government early education funding from the term following his third birthday. This universal free entitlement provides a maximum of 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year (term time). Parents will be asked to complete a declaration form at the end of each term to claim funding for the following term. Funding for 3 and 4 year olds may be split between two different early years settings, to a maximum of 15 hours per week.

15 hour funding for 2 year olds

In addition we are registered with Essex Early Years and Childcare to receive funding for 2 year old children who meet the criteria for this entitlement. The financial criteria for 2 year funding is the same as for Free School Meals. Funding for 2 year olds can only be claimed at one setting – unlike the funding for 3 and 4 year olds, it cannot be split between 2 settings.

For all children, any hours over and above the funded hours will be charged at the usual hourly fee.

30 hour funding

From September 2017, there is an extended offer of 30 hours per week for 3 and 4 year olds from working families. Parents can access the 30 hour entitlement if they (each, in dual parent families):

  • earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the national living wage or national minimum wage for those aged under 25
  • earn less than £100,000 per year.

The minimum threshold is based on money earned, not hours worked – so if a parent works for 10 hours per week but still earns the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage, they will be eligible for the 30 hour offer. The self-employed, parents on zero-hours contracts and those on sick or parental leave are also eligible.

Parents apply for the 30 hour scheme (as well as the tax-free childcare scheme) through a joint online application at HMRC, which includes an eligibility checking system. Once parents successfully apply online, they are given a code to present to their chosen provider(s). As the provider we then use the eligibility checking system to check that the code is valid. Parents will be expected to reconfirm their eligibility every three months.

At Little Owls we offer a limited number of 30 hour places. Parents do not have to take up the full 30 hours – if you are eligible and want to take up, for example, 18 or 24 hours a week, these will still be funded.

Further information on all early education entitlement is available by following the links below.