Three Year Olds

All children are eligible for a free early education place (15 hours per week) from the term after their third birthday. If your child accesses a free two-year old place (see notes below), they will automatically move into the funded three-year old process. All early years providers will aim to make this transition as smooth as possible and your child may even stay at the same setting.

Two Year Olds

Free early education for two-year olds (the term after they are 2) is a funded scheme which entitles your child to access a place in a pre-school, nursery or with a child minder for 15 hours per week, 38 weeks per year.

From September 2014  you will be able to access a free place for your child if you are in receipt of one of the following:

  • income support
  • income-based job seekers allowance
  • income-related employment support allowance
  • child tax credit, with a taxable income no more than £16,190
  • pension credit (guarantee credit)
  • support under VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • If they have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan.
  • If they attract disability living allowance.
  • If they are looked after by the local authority
  • If they have left care through special guardianship or through an adoption or residence order.

The following groups of children can also access a free place:

  • child looked after (CLA)
  • child is subject to a special guardianship order (SGO)
  • child is staying in a refuge (CIR)
  • child is adopted

Why use free early education for your two-year old?

Benefits for your child

Research has shown that time spent in a high quality early years setting can:

  • improve your child's development
  • help to prepare them for school
  • give them opportunity to socialise with other children
  • give them access to lots of new experiences, for example, playing with sand and water, or painting
  • be lots of fun

Benefits for you

While your chid is having fun at their pre-school, nursery or with their childminder, you have to time to spend with your other children, the opportunity to go back to work or take up a college course.

All free education places are offered with providers who have been registered and checked by Ofsted. Ofsted are the organisation responsible for ensuring that childcare providers are safe and able to provide a quality experience for your child.

How do I apply for a place?

Check to see if you are eligible at If you are eligible you will get a unique reference number (URN) which you should take to the free early years provider of your choice. You can check to see who offers free early education places at

The earliest a child can take their free place is the term after their second birthday.

Please see the table below showing when children can take up their free place:

A CHILD BORN BETWEEN                                                       CAN BE CONSIDERED FOR A PLACE FROM

1 September and 31 December                                                   January

1 January and 31 March                                                              April

1 April and 31 August                                                                  August



Local Offer

Early Years Extended Local Offer Response

1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
  • Berrygrove Early Years Centre is a spacious one level building. Our large outdoor area is accessed by ramps. We also have a toilet that is accessible to all.
  • Resources are at the children’s level and accessible to all.
2. How will setting staff support my child?
  • We have a member of Staff, Tamara Addison, who are Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinators (SENCo), who works with and co-ordinates professionals’ involvement.
  • We have a robust settling in process allowing for flexible support for each child’s individual needs.
  • All children are observed, assessed and relevant planning is put in place. Areas are identified to provide targeted support.
  • Individual Education Plans (IEP) are completed for a child when more targeted support is needed.


3. How will I know how my child is doing?
  • We have an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome to discuss any concerns they may have. We also encourage conversations at drop off and pick up, telephone conversations and emails.
  • Regular open days are held for all parents/carers to come in and discuss their child`s development.
  • Regular meetings with other professionals are held when required including Early Support meetings.
  • Parents/carers are involved in the reviews of their child’s Individual Education Plans.
4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs?
  • All key persons ensure they build good relationships with each family and their child, developing a good knowledge to support your child`s needs.
  • We assess your child`s development, using the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, ensuring planning, activities and resources are suitable for every child`s needs.
  • We will take advice and support from a variety of professionals to ensure your child`s particular needs are supported in the best possible way.
5. What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?
  • Our setting provides an inclusive, supportive and caring environment.
  • To ensure every child`s wellbeing, high staff to child ratios are kept.
  • If your child has a special medical need, we will ensure our staff undergo training that is relevant to suit your child`s needs.
  • All staff are trained in safeguarding and most have paediatric first aid training.
  • We have a designated safeguarding officer.
  • We have in place a behaviour policy that is updated regularly.
  • We have strong links with Berrygrove Children’s Centre
  • We work very closely with families, using your knowledge to help us provide the best for your child.
  • We offer flexible attendance to suit your child`s need
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by setting?
  • We access a variety of specialist services, which can include Inclusion Development Officers, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, the Early Years Advisory Team, the Communication Disorder Team and Specialist Nurses.
  • We work closely with local Children Centres and Health Visitors to support you with all areas of your child’s development.
  • We signpost families to courses and advice services through the Children’s Centre
7. What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have?
  • We have two SENCos who regularly attend training and keep up to date with policies and current legislation.
  • Relevant information is fed back to all staff ensuring consistency throughout Berrygrove Early Years Centre
9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's learning and development?
  • As the parent/carer you will be invited in to the setting on a regular basis to discuss all aspects of your child’s learning and development. You will also be asked to contribute to your child’s planning.
  • Open days are held half termly to discuss your child’s learning and are an opportunity for you to input your knowledge of your child.
  • Your consent will be obtained before we refer to any outside agencies.
  • Information and reports will be shared with you after any visits from outside professionals.
10. How accessible is the building / environment?
  • Berrygrove Early Years Centre is a spacious one level building. Our large outdoor area is accessed by ramps. We also have a toilet that is accessible to all.
  • Resources are at the children’s level and accessible to all.
11. How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?
  • We will work closely with you to ensure an individual settling in plan.
  • Settling in consists of an initial visit with children and parents/carers to fill out the registration paperwork and discuss your child’s needs. A number of short visits are arranged until you are confident that your child is ready to start,
  • There is a new starters open day when you will meet your child’s keyperson.
  • We will speak to any previous settings to gather information.
  • When your child moves on to another setting, we arrange visits from and to the setting, to ensure continuity for your child.
  • Where a specialised provision is required we will assist parents/carers through the process of applying for an Education and Health Care Plan.
12. How will [the setting's] resources be used to support children's special educational needs?
  • Resources are accessible to all children and differentiated as necessary.
  • Resources are age and stage appropriate
  • Extra resources are borrowed from the local toy library and Children’s Centre when required. Berrygrove Children’s Centre lends us boxes of SEN resources each term.
  • Visuals and basic Makaton are used with all children and more specific visuals are used when needed eg. individual timetables, now and next boards.
  • Based on the child`s individual needs Exceptional Needs funding can be applied for.
13. Who can I contact for further information about the Early Years Offer in the setting?

If you would like any further information please contact Karen Hill  at Berrygrove Early Years Centre on 01923 676763 or [email protected]