Support for childcare providers

Register to deliver funded childcare

If you would like to offer free education places, you must register with us.

Register to deliver funded childcare

What happens next?

  1. We will review your registration within five working days
  2. We will send you a contract and further guidance by email
  3. You must complete the contract, including your bank details, and return to us by email or post
  4. If approved, we will countersign the contract and confirm your registration by email

You should not start delivering funded places until you receive an approval email with the countersigned contract.

If we do not approve your application, we will tell you why. We may ask for further information.

Existing providers must contact us to update details about their management, banking or governance.

How to deliver funded childcare

If you are registered to deliver funded childcare, you can access our Early Years Providers Hub. This can help you to:

  • check 30 hours eligibility codes
  • register a child’s details
  • claim funding where you have delivered a funded place

Visit the Early Years Provider Hub

There is no requirement for childcare providers to deliver all early education places only over 38 weeks of the year.

If you do not offer parents chosen times of access, you should work with other providers to support the parents’ needs.  You may also signpost parents to the Family Services Directory to find other providers.

Delivery models

Model Delivery
Standard Term time only (38 weeks per year)
Standard Term time and most holidays (47.5 weeks per year)

Although the standard delivery model closely follows the school term dates, for consistency and fairness the funding terms are fixed.

Funding terms

Term Dates
Spring 1 January to 31 March
Summer 1 April to 31 August
Autumn 1 September to 31 December

Example: if a child was born on 8 April they won't start their funding until September as this is the term after their birthday.

Further information about how to deliver funded places is sent out after registering.

You will need to complete a parent declaration form for every funded child. The form will be sent to you upon completion of your registration to deliver funding.  

The form should clearly show:

  • what hours are being delivered with each setting
  • if there’s more than one setting
  • funding ID codes

The form should also be signed by parents before the child starts their place.

Training directory

Practitioners should attend training to keep up-to-date with legislation and develop their skills and knowledge.

Our training directory provides courses that focus on key themes and national initiatives. They aim to support the county workforce to improve outcomes for children.

To find out more about subsidised training on offer, email for a list of available courses, now booked through Eventbrite.

You can also follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the latest training available.

If you would like advice, guidance and support from us complete the self-referral form.

Request support


As an early years provider, you must plan for every child’s care and learning requirements. You must address under achievement and overcome barriers for children where they exist.

To get help with this, your special educational needs coordinator can fill in our online form.

Inclusion support request form

To find out about inclusion funding, contact your local early years specialist teacher or read our funding guidance.

To find out about speech and language therapy for children read the first call information on the lincolnshire community health services website.

Further resources are available to download and on the Foundation Years website.

Working with professionals

Professionals that may support early years children with special educational needs and/or disability include:

  • Community paediatrician
  • Educational psychology team
  • ESCO
  • Health visitors
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Portage
  • Speech and language therapy service
  • the Virtual School
  • the Working Together Team

Support with quality provision

We can support you by providing:

  • early years and childcare Facebook page with information and links
  • training directory for a range of training opportunities
  • information about local childcare markets for prospective childcare providers
  • support to register as a provider of early years education funding for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds
  • support sessions and surgeries with specialist members of the EYCC team
  • access to local briefings and networking opportunities
  • specific identified support through our self-referral process
  • audit tools to reflect on how you are meeting both the learning and development requirements and safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS
  • an early years transition toolkit

Request support

Further support we can offer includes:

  • targeted support for providers that receive an 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement' outcome
  • support for all newly registered childcare providers up until the point of their first inspection
  • consultancy for early years, schools and academies, which can be accessed through Edulincs 
  • information and guidance on how to create quality early years provision 
  • effective assessment guidance 

Supported childcare funding

Supported Childcare Funding (SCF) is available to support children and families by working with a range of professionals as part of an integrated approach to improving their outcomes.

SCF applications will only be authorised where it is seen that childcare is necessary to support a wider plan.

Professionals working with a family can make a referral.

Make a supported childcare funding referral

Sufficiency of childcare within Lincolnshire

The Childcare Act (2006) places a duty on Local Authorities to take reasonable steps to secure sufficient childcare, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment. This applies to children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children). 

This is set out within the early years and childcare statutory guidance for local authorities.

We monitor the marketplace to ensure there is sufficient, accessible and affordable provision available to support families. We also support providers to offer additional places where demand is identified. We review the position on an ongoing basis.

We endeavour to take reasonable steps to work with all stakeholders, to secure provision to meet the needs of local families.

It is important to support business expansions, relocations and new provision where needed. As well as encourage providers to take a sustainable business approach to place planning. This includes signposting providers to external resources to support them with future sustainability.

To discuss your new development or business expansion, please contact the early years and childcare team and request support, advice and guidance.

Request support

View our sufficiency report for Lincolnshire 2023, and the parental childcare survey engagement report.

Business management and financial sustainability

The resources on this page allow you to take steps to consider your business plans and forecast your finances for the future.

We are available to assist anyone thinking about necessary business decisions, to support business change and sustainability. This includes:

  • out-of-school provision
  • full-day care
  • preschools
  • childminders
  • schools

Whatever stage you are at, if you would like advice, guidance and support from us complete the self-referral.

Request support

The early years and childcare team support all types of childcare with their business development. This includes out-of-school provision, full day care, preschools, childminders and schools.

If you are just opening a childcare provision, growing your existing business, or struggling to sustain your business. Advice, guidance and bespoke support is available from Early Years Childcare.  Please complete a self-referral.

Below is a list of tools that might help you develop and ensure sustainability. If you would like any of them, please email: 

Business health tool kit
A self-reflective tool, designed to support a childcare provider's business by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This tool is available in Excel format.

Cash flow template
A basic template with guidance on completing a cash flow. This template is available in Excel format.

Occupancy calculator and breakeven calculator
Finding the point at which your income and expenditure match is essential to business management. It will allow you to identify trends and take action if occupancy starts to impact sustainability. Available upon request, occupancy calculator in Excel format, a break-even Calculator in Excel and a guidance document in PDF.

Business plan template
If you are opening or growing your business, you will need a business plan.  The template and guidance will support you develop your business plan. These are available in a Word and PDF format.

Marketing your setting is essential for growth and sustainability.  Look at the bite-sized tutorial on marketing you’re setting for some inspiration. In addition, we have a marketing plan template in Word format. Marketing your childcare business           

Local and national resources