This page is intended for providers. If you are a parent looking for information about childcare or Funded Early Learning, please go to

FEL termly Headcount Census

The Headcount is a data collection task. During each Funding Period, every child’s attendance details are collected to inform the Forecast, Actual and Amendment payments to providers. You must submit your Headcount Census information via the Sheffield Provider Portal. We will use this to calculate the FEL payments due each term.

We will interpret any non-submission of Headcount Census returns as a nil return, which could mean the termination of FEL funding.

You must ensure Headcount Census returns are complete, accurate and submitted by the deadline dates highlighted below. If there are any problems that you think may impact on meeting the deadline, please contact our Performance and Analysis Team.

Funded Early Learning (FEL) is Government funded childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds, and eligible 2 year olds. Here childcare providers can find guidance about claiming FEL funding and access the Sheffield Provider Portal. Further information about FEL and the Code of Practice which sets out what providers in Sheffield must do in order to meet our requirements for delivering FEL are available on the Sheffield Directory.

Indicative budgets and hourly rate

We will provide you with an indicative budget at the beginning of the financial year, which broadly reflects anticipated participation. During the year we will adjust your budget to reflect actual levels of participation. For funding and payment queries please contact us.

FEL headcount census 2019 - 2020 & 2020 - 2021 data collection & payment dates

This timetable is currently under discussion and will be subject to change. We will inform providers of any changes to the Census Data collection dates by email once these have been agreed.

We will fulfil the timetable above wherever possible but there may be some instances where unforeseen delays occur.

We have provided a calendar which sets out the 38 funded weeks, holidays and bank holidays and a form if you plan to vary the weeks from the standard model (stated on the form).

Sheffield Provider Portal 

The Sheffield Provider Portal allows you to access a secure online tool to submit your FEL Headcount Census returns for 2, 3 and 4 year olds quickly and efficiently each term.

Guidance documents are available to help you complete your Headcount Census returns via the portal. If you have not yet registered for access to the Sheffield Provider Portal please complete and return the ‘Eligible FEL details and Portal Access Request Form’.


As a FEL provider you will be required to have access to the ‘Anycomms’ system. This system is utilised to carry out data quality tasks such as:

  • previous term adjustments
  • double funding queries
  • 2 year old compliance checks

If you do not already have a username or password for the ‘Anycomms’ system please email us. We have also created a guide for anyone who needs further assistance.

Sharing of information

Privacy notices set out how we ensure the privacy of the information families provide and to let them know their information rights, as well as how their information may be used.

If you would like more information about how to issue the Privacy Notice contact the Performance and Analysis Service.

How we will communicate with you

We send all important news to providers through our Early Years Provider News Bulletin. The Code of Practice requires you to sign up for this.