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About the Free Entitlement for 2 year olds

This page is for early years settings.


The Free Entitlement (FE) for 2 year olds provides 570 hours per year of free, quality early education and care for eligible 2 year olds in the county.

In order to be eligible to offer FE for 2 year olds:

  • a pre-school or day nursery must be rated 'Satisfactory', 'Good' or 'Outstanding' in their most recent Ofsted report;
  • childminders must either be rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding' in their most recent Ofsted report or have a Level 3 childcare qualification; and
  • all providers should regularly evaluate the quality of their provision.


If you think your setting is eligible to offer FE for 2 year olds and wish to join the scheme, please phone the Family Information Service (FIS) and ask to speak to the Specialist Team, or email free.entitlement@westsussex.gov.uk

General information on how the scheme is operated can be found below, and more in-depth frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found at the bottom of this page within Supporting Documents.

Our Free Entitlement, and Choosing Childcare information leaflets for parents and carers are available for download in 5 other languages (Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Arabic and Portuguese).

  • How does a family become eligible?
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  • How and when do families apply?
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  • What happens after an application is made?
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  • What is the minimum session length?
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  • How is the funding paid to settings?
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  • What is the funding rate?
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  • What happens if a child starts attending our setting after headcount?
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  • What happens if a child stops attending our setting?
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  • Is there any additional support available to my setting?
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  • Why is FE for 2 year olds beneficial to the child?
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Supporting documents



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