Apply now for a free early education place for your child

Published: 25 Jan 2018

You can apply now for a free early education place for your child


Applications for free early year’s education places for children aged between three and five years are now being accepted by childcare providers in the county.


All children from the term after they are three are entitled to 570 hours of free early education per year until they start full-time school.  However, working families in Hertfordshire will be able to extend this to 30 hours of free childcare per week, a total of 1140 hours per year, provided they meet the application criteria.


The process to apply for a free early education place at a nursery class/school has changed and applications from parents should now be made directly to the early years provider of their choice.


96% of all Hertfordshire providers are graded good or outstanding by Ofsted. Evidence shows that regular, high quality early education has lasting benefits for all children.


Daniel, dad to Amelia, says: “Early education is important for social skills. Amelia gets to interact with children her own age and participate in groups which she doesn’t get at home. Since starting nursery, her speech has improved a lot, she is more confident in asking for what she wants. She was happy before, but she’s happier now.”


Terry Douris, Executive Member for Education, at Hertfordshire County Council said: “Hertfordshire benefits from an abundance of fantastic childcare providers located throughout the county. Early Years education plays a vital role in preparing young children for their entry into the school environment by providing a solid grounding in all aspects of physical, social and emotional development.”


Contact your local free early education provider, or look on their website, for advice about:

•           place availability

•           when your child can start

•           visits and open days

•           how they allocate places

•           flexible provision, part-time placements, 30 hours free childcare and additional hours.

To find your nearest early years provider and for more information visit