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How to spend your Early Years Pupil Premium Funding (EYPP)

How to spend your Early Years Pupil Premium Funding (EYPP)

If you’re an early years provider, you may be entitled to additional funding to support disadvantaged children’s progress in line with their peers. But how do you know who is eligible and how much Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) funding you’ll receive in 2024?

We share all you need to know about EYPP and how to spend it to best benefit your nursery children.

sandbox with sliding lids and children

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP): An Overview

What is EYPP?

The local authority gives early years pupil premium funding to early years providers (like group-based and school-based nurseries) to support disadvantaged children under the age of 4. The main priority is to give these children additional learning and development opportunities.

The term ‘disadvantaged’ refers to children who may face additional barriers to success compared to their non-disadvantaged peers. The purpose of the EYPP grant is to give nurseries some extra funding to boost child development for these children.

Who is eligible for EYPP in 2024?

The early years pupil premium offer has been extended for 2024-2025. Previously, EYPP funding was only available to children between 3-4 years old. It has now been extended to include children from 9 months- 4 years old.

For a child to be eligible for the extra funding, they must meet the EYPP criteria:

Firstly, the child will already get childcare funding entitlement (they will receive one of the following):

  • 15 hours of universal childcare for 3–4-year-olds
  • 15 hours of childcare for disadvantaged 2-year-olds
  • 15 hours of childcare for working parents of 2-year-olds (extended to 9 months+ in September 2024)

In order to be eligible for pupil premium early years, the child’s family will also:

Early years settings can receive the EYPP funding from the beginning of the term in which the child turns 9 months old or at the start of the next term following their 2nd or 3rd birthday.

Remember, it’s the nursery’s responsibility to notify the local authority about how many children are eligible for funding. Having a good relationship with nursery parents and encouraging them to fill in the EYPP declaration template from the DfE is the first step.

What are the EYPP rates for 2024?

The early years pupil premium funding rates for 2024 are capped at a maximum of 570 hours for the year. The local authorities use the national rate of 68p per hour up to the maximum of 570—this equates to £388 per year. hand with coin If a 3—and 4-year-old is eligible for the 15-hour universal and the working parent 15 hours, their EYPP will be paid on the universal hours only (up to 570 hours again).

What are the conditions for spending EYPP?

Unlike pupil premium funding for schools, information on how you choose to spend your EYPP funding does not need to be published online (although many nurseries do). There are no conditions on how you spend your early years pupil premium as such, but it is worth remembering Ofsted will monitor how you improve the quality of education for disadvantaged children.

Your priority should be ensuring all disadvantaged children develop across all seven areas of learning and development, particularly speech and language and confidence in communication. Nursery settings are encouraged to be flexible, innovative, and creative with the spending to best benefit the children.

Want to know how to spend your EYPP funding?

We share some ideas that improve child development, confidence, communication and language skills and help children to self-regulate.

How to spend your EYFS Pupil Premium Funding

You know your children best, so you will know the types of resources and equipment they will enjoy most.

We know statistically that disadvantaged children have lower communication and language levels than their peers.

The quantity and quality of a child’s language and vocabulary skills at age 5 are a predictor of adult language confidence, so nurseries are doing all they can to increase communication opportunities through outdoor play.

When you choose how to spend your EYPP funding, you should focus on the areas that need improvement most, such as:

  • Language and communication
  • Physical development
  • Sensory support
  • Self-regulation and resilience

When using the additional funding to enhance children’s learning opportunities through play, choose flexible EYFS equipment that can be used for many purposes.

EYPP spending idea 1: Physical development

Physical development is one of the areas of concern within EYFS. Around 1 in 5 children join reception as overweight or obese. A figure that nursery and school-based settings are working hard to reduce through increased active play.

Physical development blocks come in moveable sets of 9, 12 or 15. Meaning they are ideal for any small EYFS outdoor space and can be arranged in an order of your choice. A firm favourite due to the low drop height, varied gradients and textured finish. We’d recommend these are perfect for ages 3 years+.

Suggested products:

Physical Development Blocks (moveable and improve gross motor skills!)

EYPP spending idea 2: Play-based learning

Studies have found that encouraging children to participate in play-based learning can improve development by up to four months. Nursery settings are centred around creating learning opportunities through play, and outdoor play in EYFS is no different.

Sometimes, children like to engage in free-flow play with natural objects like sticks, recycled items, or materials. Other times, they may prefer a little structure. This is helpful for children who demonstrate some inflexibility with interests and enjoy pirates or trains.

Our pirate boat is a permanent structure in your EYFS area, giving children the perfect inspiration to play, develop language and even build a love for reading. Or, a transport train set with a low drop height for safety.

Encouraging children to board the train with their friends can help to develop imaginative play, boost language acquisition and also help children experience sensory feedback.

pirate boat with children playing

Suggested products:

Pirate Boat (perfect for reading, imaginative play and sailing the seven seas)

Static Train Set (with a free fall height of 0.6m, children can climb aboard with their friends)

EYPP spending idea 3: Language development

A large number of disadvantaged children begin school with a language level far lower than necessary to join in with their learning. In some areas of deprivation, more than 50% of children start school with Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).

These figures have increased (and continue to do so). Especially of the back of extended time in lockdown (even 4+ years on).

Encouraging children with SLCN through creative ways can help to build confidence in those who may show the beginnings of a Language Disorder.

If your setting supports a number of children where English is their additional language (EAL), investing your EYPP funding in equipment designed to boost verbal communication can be beneficial.

Our pair of talking flowers makes communication creative. Speak to one of our design experts when deciding on their placement in your EYFS outdoor area.

Suggested products:

Talking Flowers (children can speak and listen to each other through the flower pair)

EYPP spending idea 4: Sensory needs

Children learn through their senses, and some may have more specific sensory needs and interests than others. Giving children access to a range of sensory experiences in the nursery helps to broaden their understanding of texture and even build scientific thinking in the early years.

Whether it’s water play activities or messy play like sandpits, your outdoor area should encourage children to experiment with different materials like water, sand and mud.

Want to keep the messy play localised to one area? Our messy play kitchen set encourages children to explore mess and textures, without the tricky wide-spread clean up.

Suggested products:

Weights and Scales Water Play Station (to kick-start those scientific minds!)

Sandpit with Sliding Lids (safe to use all year round and protected from the elements)

Messy Kitchen Set (keep all messy play in one area in your EYFS outdoor space)

EYPP spending idea 5: Teamwork and cooperation

Working with others in a pair and small group is one of the most challenging parts of the early years. Many children are not used to having to share and turn take with others. Making turn taking fun can help children to learn how to work as a team and cooperate with others effectively.

Our activity boards are a favourite for school playgrounds due to the instant access to games without the need for resources. EYFS children can also enjoy pair games like chunky noughts and crosses and three-in-a-row.

Suggested products:

Chunky Noughts and Crosses (helping to promote turn-taking and sharing through play)

Three in a Row (a fun way to introduce friendly competition without ever losing a counter!)

EYPP spending idea 6: Attendance

When children struggle to leave their parents to come to nursery it is stressful for all involved. Children who are free school meals statistically have lower attendance throughout school than non-pupil premium children. Making nursery a crucial time to tackle non-attenders and to give parents confidence their child is in safe hands from the beginning.

Giving children a job or task to complete when they enter the building can be a great distraction for the family to slip off and build self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

Gardening is the perfect way to give children sensory opportunities, build friendships in a non-intimidating way, and give them a task with a purpose, which can boost their self-esteem.

Consider investing in some garden planters to give those pupil premium children who struggle to get into nursery an important job—groundskeeper!

Suggested products:

Log Planter Box (available in 35cm, 55cm or 75cm high to interest green fingers)

EYPP spending idea 7: Self-regulation

Self-regulation is highlighted in the newest version of the Early Learning Goals (ELG). A concept most adults struggle to practice regularly when we ourselves become dysregulated. As children in EYFS have less developed parts of the brain that manage impulse control and reasoning, self-regulation is essential to bringing children back down off the ceiling and helping them re-join in with their game or activity.

Sometimes, outdoor space can help children to self-regulate. To turn their brains back to thinking mode rather than fight or flight. If you have children who have experienced trauma and or are in care, having separate areas for self-regulation can be invaluable.

Sensory circuits that involve heavy work can also help children to self-regulate by ‘spending’ the energy they need.

Suggested products:

Rainbow Lodge ( for a quiet spot with sensory windows)

Bouldering Wall (to help with the need for ‘heavy work’ to regulate)

Looking for some ideas to spend your EYPP wisely? Contact us to talk through what products we offer.

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5 ways to increase girls’ participation in physical activity

Outdoor lesson ideas using playground equipment