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Free early education places -
Information for early years settings

London Borough of Merton provides funding for part-time free early education places for all 3 and 4-year-olds in Merton whose parents want one with an early years provider in the maintained, private, voluntary or independent (PVI) sectors. All 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to take up their part-time early education place from the school term after their third birthday. In addition, some 2-year-olds are also eligible to take-up a free place from the school term after they turn two.

Funding is provided for these 2, 3 and 4-year-olds for up to 270 hours of early education over the course of a year.

Summer 2015 Headcount

The Summer Term Headcount week will be 18 to 22 May 2015.

Supporting documents

  • Download Ethnicity and Language codes (57kB) for use when completing the Headcount. This is an Excel spreadsheet with two worksheets. One worksheet lists the ethnicity codes, the other lists the language codes.

Claiming Early Education Funding

To receive funding so that they can deliver funded places for eligible 2 and/or 3 and 4-year-old children, early education providers must meet the criteria laid out in the current Code of Practice and Conditions of Funding and be listed in the Merton Directory of Providers of funded places for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds.

Early education providers must ensure they have written approval from London Borough of Merton to claim this funding before confirming any entitlement with parents of eligible children.

All early education providers which are currently part of the funding programme and can deliver funded places are listed in the published Merton Directory of Providers of Funded Places for 2, 3 and 4 Year Olds. All of these providers must adhere to the Code of Practice and Conditions of Funding.  

Code of Practice and Conditions of Funding for Early Education for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds

The Code of Practice has been revised for April 2014 onwards and is published below. Full details of the funding programme, including eligibility of children, and the application process are provided in the Code of Practice.

Providers wishing to join the programme must complete and submit the Registration Form (Appendix 1 below).

Providers who meet the relevant criteria can decide if they wish to apply for funding for 2-year-olds, 3 and 4-year-olds or both on the Registration Form.

The Registration Form also allows providers to indicate if they wish to join the Merton Continuous Improvement Framework (CIF). The CIF provides three offers to select from of support, training, advice and guidance from us. Please note that providers who do not join the CIF via the Registration Form will charged to access these services.

Code of Practice and Conditions of Funding of Early Education for 2, 3 and 4-Year-Olds (0.3MB)

Note: the Registration Form must be completed and submitted by all applicants for funding

You can download Ethnicity and Language codes (57kB) for use when completing the Parental Agreement From

Completed forms should be emailed or posted to the Early Education Funding Administrator at the address below. The Administrator does not require a copy of the Parental Agreement form, but please ensure you keep a copy and give one to the parent.

Please Do NOT send any child information via email as this is not a secure method and has the potential of being intercepted by an unknown source. Child information must be sent via the online secure submission facility USO-FX through the London Grid for Learning (LGFL) using your LFGL login.

Privacy Notices

Please ensure that all parents of children you are claiming for have been given a Privacy Notice. Privacy Notices need to be circulated to new parents claiming the funded entitlement each term. Settings and schools have a Statutory Duty to circulate Privacy Notices to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. This puts in place numerous safeguards regarding the use of personal data by organisations, including the Education Department, Local Authorities and schools. The Privacy Notice could be included as part of a brochure or induction pack, or it could be posted on a nursery noticeboard, but parents must be made aware of it.

The latest version of the Privacy Notice which you can personalise with your own branding is available to download here: Privacy Notice (0.1MB)

Contact Us

Early Education Funding Administrator
Early Years, Childcare and Children's Centres Service
10th Floor, Civic Centre
London Road


This page was last updated on Friday 23 January 2015