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Fees, free places & Funding

Free places

Information can be found on the BANES website:

Free places for 2 year olds

Free places for 3-5 year olds

First Steps Terms and Conditions for payment of fees

Universal Early Years Entitlement (EYE)
The Government provides 570 hours of early education per calendar year split equally through the year for all three and four-year-old children the term after their 3rd birthday. Terms are split into the traditional 3 academic periods September-December, January-March, April-August.
At First Steps, we offer parents the option to stretch the 15 hours a week for 38 weeks to 11 hours a week for 51 weeks. We will claim this Universal funding on your behalf.

Extended Funding

Some families with 3 and 4-year-old children can apply for an additional 15 hours per week extending their entitlement to a maximum 1140 hours. This has also been
referred to as 30 hours funding. You must apply for this it is not automatic which can be done via

Working Family Eligibility two-year funding
Working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of Early Years Entitlement (38 weeks a year) from the term after their child’s 2nd birthday. This can be stretched over 51 weeks all year round which is rounded to 11 hours a week, this cannot be changed mid-term. Parents have to apply for this here

Two-year-old Funding for families in receipt of additional Government support.
If you receive certain benefits or receive Disability Living Allowance for your child or if your child has a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health, and care (EHC) plan. You may be eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare over 38 weeks or 11 hours stretched over 51 weeks. You can apply here:

Other funding
To identify if you are entitled to any other funding such as Tax-Free Childcare, Childcare Tax Credits please visit Childcare Choices

First Steps regularly reviews nursery fees with trustees, parents are informed via our nursery App of any increase at least one calendar month before the increase.

First Steps Fees

Trustees and Senior Managers at First Steps have kept fee increases as low as possible to support families. These are the rates from April 2024.

Session Time

Age 2 months - 2 Years

Age 2 Years

Age 3 - 8 Years

8 to 6




9 to 5




9 to 3




9 to 1




1 to 5




3 to 6




Hourly top up 8am to 9am or 5pm to 6pm




There is a 15% sibling discount for second and subsequent children.

Sustainability Charge The Early Years Entitlement funds ‘free’ childcare hours, this covers the core costs and not the costs of resources, such as Toys and Educational Supplies, trips and events etc. Therefore we find we have to charge to cover the full costs associated with your child attending nursery. We currently charge £1.00 per funded hour per week.

To enable families to attend on a low income, we do not charge a sustainability charge.

Snacks and Lunch Meals are chargeable for children attending Nursery and only using their Early Years Entitlement. Our healthy snacks are charged at £0.80 each for both morning and afternoon tea. We also provide a nutritious 2-course lunch for £3.30 if your child attends lunchtime unless you opt to provide your own packed lunch.

EYE only childrenMorning Snack2 course LunchAfternoon Snack
Meal cost£0.80£3.30£0.80

Free Meals As a charity we can offer families with a low-income, free meals, please speak to your Manager about this. We fundraise to provide this service.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) This is additional funding for early years preschool settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds including, but not restricted to, those adopted from care. This enables us to provide additional resources and services for your child.

Our charges are reviewed annually in addition to our Nursery Fees.

A deposit of two weeks’ fees must be paid when completing the admission form. This deposit will be repaid to you when your child leaves, provided all fees have been paid.