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Small World: Free hours information

Updated 15th March 2023    

Free Early Education funded hours

30 hours free per week are possible

Small World offers both the free universal 15 hours per week and the extended (up to 30) hours per week.  The free hours are only available in the afternoon.

Actions required by you

Actions required by you are as follows...  More details for these actions are detailed further below.

  1. Apply, if applicable, for a 30 code and provide us two months in advance with the required information.  More (below) ...
  2. Complete and return a Parent Declaration each and every term.  More (below) ...

Some details

Early Education funded hours are awarded to all 3 and 4 year-old children and we automatically claim them on your behalf.  The claim will be for up to either 15 or, if eligible, 30 hours of your child's normal weekly attendance pattern, term time only (38 weeks in the year).  These hours are totally free.  Any other (non-free) hours that your child attends will be charged at the rates published.  (See also Current fees)  

No free sessions are available for After School Club or Holiday Club attendance. The school automatically claims for all possible hours.

Starts from term after three (or two)

A child is eligible from the term after their third birthday.  Free hours are taken into account and detailed in the standing order calculation, but only from when your child is eligible. 
Some children can be eligible for funding from the term following their second birthday.  See Oxfordshire's Information for parents: Free early education for 2 year olds,

Only for 38 weeks of the year

Free hour funding is termly only, explicitly and only for 38 weeks of the year  The council prescribes the number of weeks each term as follows...

Term Spring Summer Autumn Total
Weeks 12 12 14 38
January April September Annually

Funding tries to follow school terms, but specifically by the number of week shown above.

Possible savings from free funding

Note that the reduction in your monthly fixed remittance amount may be less than expected.  For example a three day attendance pattern of attendance (30 hours per week) will typically result in a saving of approximately 30% when 15 hours are free, instead of the perhaps expected 50%. 

Note also that no discounts are applicable with free sessions. 

See Examples (below)

Attendance patterns that make free sessions available

Small World offers free sessions only in the afternoon.  This means that only attendance patterns that include a full afternoon’s attendance will be eligible – 8am to 6pm and 1pm to 6pm attendances, not 8am to 4pm (school days).  The universal 15 hours per week will remain applicable where “30 hours” is not, albeit still only in the afternoons.  To be clear, a morning only attendance (8am to 1pm) will attract no free hours what-so-ever. 

See Examples (below)

Timeline for Autumn 2023

Monday 4-Sept Parental Declarations deadline
Friday 29-Sept Headcount submission deadline for claims to OCC
probably Wednesday 15-November Provider statements are sent (to Small World)

The timeline for Spring 2023 is likely to be given to Small World in November

Action 1 by Parents/Guardians

It is important that you apply for a code well in advance of the term and provide it to us as soon as possible.  Our understanding is that this is required two months in advance, so for example November for January! 
Please provide as soon as possible by email to the following information...    

We require this For Example Please note
30 hours eligibility reference number/code 70148033276
Parent's National Insurance number ZL527891B No spaces or dashes, please!  We actually don't need to know which parent/guardian 
Child's name Full name, exactly as you enter for the code, in case we have an abbreviation or short name. 
Child's date of birth Please confirm this, in case we have an erroneous date. 

Instructions and details are published at…

You can apply directly at ...     Apparently it usually takes 20 minutes to apply.

You will thereafter require to confirm your eligibility with H.M.R.C. every three months.  Please do ensure that you do so in time; we cannot be responsible for any lack of funding as a result of late information.  We will automatically stop claiming any Extended hours (over the 15 Universal hours) when your edibility ceases for any reason. 

Action 2 by Parents/Guardians

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) require a parental declaration form to be filled in and signed every term for every child that benefits from free funded hours and these forms are mandatory. 
When we receive the latest termly form from the council, we request by email the completion of such.  Please make sure you return the form promptly, since we cannot claim without it. 
The Council also require us to verify your child's date of birth.  We will, on you being newly eligible for free hours, request a birth certificate; passport or other official document to allow us to take a photocopy of it.  (You can also email us a photograph of such.) 

The form for next term (Autumn 2023) is published here or as a Word document copy here .  You should complete pages two (2) and four (4) only [sections 1..4, 7 & 8], unless you are eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium or Disability Access Fund. 


Example patterns and the likely savings possible*. 

The following are example only, many other possibilities and mixtures of attendance patterns are possible. 

Attendance pattern Attendance hours Free hours per week Likely saving *
(total annually, for free hours shown)
Likely saving from Universal hours only*
(up to 15 hours per week)
Full time, all week (5 days) 8am to 6pm 30 £ 3,673.00 £ 1,613.40
Four full days 8am to 6pm 24 £ 3,526.40 £ 2,348.40
Three full days 8am to 6pm 18 £ 2,644.80 £ 2,348.40
Mornings only 8am to 1pm  0 (zero)
Five School days 8am to 4pm 15 universal hours £ 2,916.50 £ 2,916.50
Four School days 8am to 4pm 12 universal hours £ 2,333.20 £ 2,333.20
Three School days 8am to 4pm  9 universal hours £ 1,749.90 £ 1,749.90
Five afternoons 1pm to 6pm 25 £ 6,764.00 £ 4,059.40
* Estimated annual amounts based on an average year.

Changes since April 2021    +   Click to expand