Funded Early Learning information for providers

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. Maintained Schools hourly FEL rates are available on our FEL Budgets page.

Hourly rates 2022 to 2023

The Sheffield School Forum agreed at the meeting held on 21 February 2022 that the FEL funding hourly rates payable would be increased as follows:

  • 2 year old FEL £5.31
  • 3 and 4 year old FEL base rate £4.43
  • deprivation rates will remain static at up to £0.44 per pupil hour

These increased hourly rates will be payable from April 2022 to March 2023.

Hourly rates 2021 to 2022

The Sheffield School Forum agreed at the meeting held on 23 February 2021 that the FEL funding hourly rates payable would be increased as follows:

  • 2 year old FEL £5.10 
  • 3 and 4 year old FEL base rate £4.26
  • deprivation rates will remain static at up to £0.44 per pupil hour

These increased hourly rates will be payable from April 2021 to March 2022.

Funding Consultations

Early Years Disability Access Funding Consultation to distribute £554,000

The results of the Early Years Disability Access Funding (DAF) Consultation that took place from 4 July 2022 to 31 July 2022 have been compiled. There was a 12% response rate. 48% of voters chose Model 3, to distribute the £554,000 funding to the Early Years sector. This will be recommended to the Sheffield Early Years Working Group on 9 September 2022. Model 3 provides a share of the £554,000 positive DAF balances to all current 3 and 4 year old FEL providers paid for any FEL participation hours in 2021/22. You can read the full report.

Early Years Deprivation Funding Consultation £1.2 million

The results of the consultation with the Early Years Sector to agree the Sheffield Deprivation Funding Methodology, for Implementation from 1 April 2023 have been compiled. The consultation ran from 6 July to 31 July 2022. There was a 12% response rate with 86% of voters agreeing to the current IDACI method of distribution. This will be recommended to the Sheffield Early Years Working Group on 9 September 2022. You can read the full report.

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 Portal Access Request Form.

Anycomms

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.

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