Find guidance about claiming Free Early Learning (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 & 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 email the Early Years Funding Team.

FEL termly census

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.

FEL Headcount Census 2017-18 data collection & payment dates

Please note:

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. These are the first place you should look for help with completing your online FEL claim.

Register for the Portal

If you have not yet registered for access to the Sheffield Provider Portal please complete and return a Sheffield Provider Portal Access Request Form to request a username and password which will be emailed to you.

We need a completed form for each person who needs access to the portal.


As a FEL provider you will also 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, which cannot be completed through the Provider Portal.

If you do not already have a username or password for the ‘Anycomms’ system please email the Early Years FEL Census Team.

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.