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The Childcare Offer for Wales is a Welsh Government funded scheme providing up to 30 hours a week of education and childcare for eligible working parents of 3 to 4 year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year.
Eligible parents will be allowed to take up their childcare with any registered childcare provider that suits their personal and family circumstance, whether inside or outside of the county, so long as the setting is registered with CIW (or Ofsted if the setting is in England) and has agreed to take part in the offer.
The Offer is a maximum of 30 hours a week of early education and childcare for eligible working parents of 3 to 4 year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year.
During term time the 30 hours will consist of a combination of the existing FPN provision open to all 3 to 4 year olds and the additional funded childcare for eligible families. During the 9 weeks of holiday entitlement, the full 30 hours can be taken up as childcare.
Foundation Phase Nursery provision can be accessed in an LA Nursery or with a non-maintained approved provider. Parents are not required to access their early education entitlement as a prerequisite to them accessing the childcare element of the offer, however, their entitlement during term time will include these hours whether they access them or not.
Parents can access funding with a maximum of two registered childcare providers in addition to their Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) setting in any given day.
During the holiday period a child may access funding with a maximum of two registered providers under the offer.
The parent can access the childcare element of the Offer at any point they wish, however, it is the responsibility of the parent to find childcare providers who can accommodate the requirements.
Parents are unable to accrue hours. Parents will be provided with a total of 30 hours a week of combined FPN provision and childcare with parents choosing how much of the 30 hours to take up. Any hours not used in a week will be lost.
The Childcare Offer will cover up to 48 weeks per year. Foundation Phase Nursery Provision is available for 39 weeks per year; therefore eligible parents will be able to access 30 hours of childcare for the remaining 9 weeks of the year.
Eligible parents can access their 9 weeks of holiday provision whenever they choose, however, it is the parent’s responsibility to find a provider that offers the provision that best suits their needs. Parents will need to access their provision in week long blocks. Hours of childcare cannot be accrued across weeks.
All Childcare providers will receive a rate of £4.50 per hour for children receiving the offer. This rate excludes food. Providers can therefore charge additional fees to parents for food; however, this cannot exceed more than £7.50 per day. Providers can also charge for activities and transport, such as trips off site that may incur an additional cost or pick ups/drop offs.
Providers cannot charge hourly top-up rates if they would normally charge more than £4.50 per hour.
Please note that deposits/retainers/holiday pay (for childminders) may still apply and you should talk to your childcare provider about this before entering a contract with them.
When can I Apply?
As a rough guide, you can apply for the Childcare Offer six weeks before the end of the previous term (The term before your child is due to start receiving the offer.) All dates, terms and conditions will be posted on our Facebook Page so please use that as our most up to date source of information.
Please do not apply before the application date as applications will not be processed and you will have to complete the application form again.
If you choose to use childcare before your application is approved, you will be liable for any costs of the childcare.
Childcare Offer funding cannot be backdated for the period before an application is approved. You should expect up to 28 days for your application form to be processed.
You must talk to your childcare provider first as the application form asks you to confirm which childcare provider you are using.
When can I Access the Offer?
The offer will begin from the term after a child’s third birthday until they are offered a full time education place – aligning with the FPN provision. Term dates are defined as below, regardless of where school holidays fall.
If your child turns 3 years old between these dates, they will be eligible from the following term. Please see below:
From To Term for eligibility
1st January 31st March Summer Term
1st April 31st August Autumn Term
1st September 31st December Spring Term
Parents can take up the childcare offer at any point during this time period, so long as they are eligible to do so. Parents should be able to access the offer from whichever point they wish during that term, providing their child was eligible from the beginning of that term, or earlier. This includes parents who move into the area or gain employment.
Children will no longer be eligible to take-up the childcare offer from the point at which they are offered a full time education place by their local authority.
Parents are responsible for finding suitable childcare to meet their individual needs and to secure a provisional space with their chosen childcare provider.
Before you apply, please make sure you have with you the evidence provided below.
- Child’s Birth certificate (Long Version)
- Current Council Tax Payment Form
- Employed: Last three month’s wage slips (for both parents) or letter from employer confirming maternity, paternity or sick leave. (If new in post with no wage slips, please send confirmation of employment from Employer.)
- Self-Employed: self assessment form for previous financial year (or letter confirming self-employment if in first year.)
- Exceptional Circumstances: Evidence of incapacity benefit, carers allowance, severe disablement allowance or employment and support allowance.
Who Can Apply?/Am I Eligible?
To access the childcare element of the offer parents and guardians must:
-Be employed or self-employed. Both parents must be working in a two parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family. Where parents have separated, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer.
-Earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) (at the current 21-24 NMW and NLW rate respectively).
-Parents who earn the equivalent of 16 hours wk or more (NMW/NLW), but less than £100k per year.
Parents will need to prove they are working a minimum of 16 hours a week (or equivalent), through their earnings.
Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody, one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer.
Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in parents will all need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within the household to be able to take up the offer.
Parents on parental leave can apply for the childcare offer if they meet the eligibility criteria prior to statutory parental leave. Eligibility for the childcare offer, however, is only during the period of statutory parental leave.
What happens if I or my partner loses our job?
Should a parent fall out of eligibility, a temporary exemption period of 8 weeks will be granted during which they will be able to continue to access the offer.
Exceptions to Eligibility:
There are some circumstances in which parents will be able to access the offer when they don’t meet the eligibility criteria. These are:
-where one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay or are in receipt of statutory maternity/paternity pay.
-where one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits or has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring:
-kinship carers, family and friend’s carers who have taken responsibility for a child or step child who is not their own because:
– the child has no parents or has parents who are unable to care for the child.
– it is likely that the child would otherwise be looked after by a local authority because of concerns in relation to the child’s welfare.
The Childcare Offer will provide working parents of 3 – 4 year olds with 30 hours of funded early education and childcare per week, up to 48 weeks of the year. The term time element is made up of 39 weeks, with the remaining 9 weeks of the offer treated as non-term time or ‘holiday provision’. During these 9 weeks holiday provision, eligible children will receive 30 hours of childcare only each week.
The Welsh Government will not be specifying which of the 13 weeks non-term time are designated as the 9 weeks of holiday provision in order to allow flexibility for parents who are in different occupations, such as those who have to work over the summer or Christmas holidays. However, parents will not be able to ‘stretch’ their entitlements across weeks or transfer unused hours across weeks.
Holiday provision will be allocated at the beginning of each term the child is eligible for the offer. Children will be allocated 3 weeks of holiday provision per term. Any unused allocation can be carried over and used in the next term, provided they are still eligible to receive the offer. Children who are eligible for the offer for one or two terms only will receive 3 weeks holiday provision at the beginning of each term, just as any other child would.
Please see the following 9 weeks pro-rata holiday entitlement:
- A child who is eligible to receive the offer for three terms will be entitled to receive 9 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
- A child who is eligible to receive the offer for two terms will be entitled to receive 6 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
- A child who is eligible to receive the offer for one term will be entitled to receive 3 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
- Should a child exceed 3 terms of eligibility a new allocation of holiday entitlement will be available.
Information for Childcare Providers:
If you would like to register for the Childcare Offer in Monmouthshire, please download this application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Childcare Offer Contact Details:
If you are already receiving the childcare offer, you can report any changes to your holiday childcare provision or hours by emailing email@example.com, quoting your ID number given in your original confirmation email.
Application Form queries and questions:
Changes to circumstances and/or childcare arrangements:
General Childcare Offer queries:
Rachel D’Orsey – Childcare Engagement Officer for Monmouthshire
Tel: 01633 644527
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/monchildcareoffer
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/Mon30hoursOffer
Online Application Form: https://monschildcareoffer.cempdatabase.info/