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Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead/ Achieving for Children Early Education Funding for 3 & 4 Year Old Children - Information for Parents/ Carers

 

 

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead/ Achieving for Children

Early Education Funding for 3 & 4 Year Old Children - Information for Parents/ Carers

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

All children aged 3 & 4 are entitled to up to 15 hours a week (term-time, maximum 38 weeks per year) of funded hours of early learning and childcare - equivalent to a maximum of 570 hours per year. This is called the Universal Entitlement.

 

Some 3 & 4 year old children, whose parents meet the eligibility criteria, are entitled to an additional 15 hours (maximum) per week (term-time, maximum 38 weeks per year) - equivalent to a maximum of 1140 per year. This is called the Extended Entitlement.

 

Children become eligible for the 3 & 4 Year Old Entitlement at the start of the school term following their 3rd birthday, and the entitlement lasts up until the term they turn 5 (the term of their 5th birthday), as long as they are attending an Early Years Provision, and entry to school Reception has been deferred. A child must attend school the term after they turn 5 (Statutory School Age). 

 

Eligibility

 

  1. Children first become eligible for the 3 & 4 Year Old entitlement (Universal and/ or Extended) in the term after the term in which they turn 3, based on the dates below:-

Born between

Eligible

1st January to 31st March          

Summer term after their 3rd birthday

 

1st April to 31st August

Autumn term after their 3rd birthday

 

1st September to 31st December

Spring term after their 3rd birthday

 

 

  1. The dates are set by the DfE (Department for Education) and cannot be changed by RBWM/ AfC or the childcare provider.

Child’s Date of Birth

Summer Term

             2022

Autumn Term

 2022

Spring Term

 2023

Summer Term

 2023

01/04/17 to

31/08/17

Eligible 4 Year Old 

(last term - child is 5 this term)

Statutory School Age 

Statutory School Age 

Statutory School Age 

01/09/17 to 31/12/17

Eligible 4 Year Old

Eligible 4 Year Old 

(last term - child is 5 this term)

Statutory School Age 

Statutory School Age

01/01/18 to 31/03/18

Eligible 4 Year Old

Eligible 4 Year Old

 Eligible 4 Year Old  

(last term - child is 5 this term)     

Statutory School Age

01/04/18 to 31/08/18

Eligible 3 Year Old

Eligible 4 Year Old 

 Eligible 4 Year Old 

Eligible 4 Year Old

(last term - child is 5 this term)

01/09/18 to 31/12/18

 

Eligible 3 Year Old

Eligible 3 Year Old

 Eligible 4 Year Old

Eligible 4 Year Old

01/01/19 to 31/03/19

Eligible 3 Year Old - First term child is eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old

Eligible 3 Year Old

 

Eligible 4 Year Old

01/04/19 to

31/08/19

Not eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old  - First term child is eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old

 

Eligible 3 Year Old

01/09/19 to

31/12/19

Not eligible

Not eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old

- First term child is eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old

01/01/20 to

31/03/20

Not eligible

Not eligible

Not eligible

Eligible 3 Year Old – First term child is eligible

 

Where can a child access their place?

 

Children can access their funded place at a variety of childcare providers – these include:-

 

  • Local Authority Maintained Nursery Schools or Nursery Class – We have some standalone nursery schools in the borough, and a number of our first, infant and primary schools have a nursery class. Attendance at a nursery school/nursery class does not guarantee a place for your child in that school
  • Pre-School Provider – Normally these open for part of the day, possibly mornings or afternoons and are open term time. These can be privately run or charities run by a committee
  • Day Care (Nursery) Provider – A private business, usually open around 8am to 6pm, up to 52 weeks a year
  • Independent School Nursery – A nursery class in an independent school
  • Childminders – a number of our childminders are registered to offer funded places

 

The majority of the providers and some childminders in the borough offer the funded entitlement hours. A couple of the Independent School nurseries are not registered for Early Education Funding. You can obtain details from the providers themselves.

 

To be eligible to offer parents the funded entitlement, childcare providers must be approved by the Early Years Team. They must offer high quality care and meet the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The majority of childcare providers in RBWM have a good or outstanding Ofsted (or Independent Schools Inspectorate) rating. All childcare providers, irrespective of their Ofsted/ ISA rating, are only allowed to continue to offer funded childcare places, if the Early Years Team is satisfied they offer childcare of sufficiently high quality.

 

When will a child be able to access their Funded Entitlement hours?

 

Many providers choose to offer their funded entitlement in blocks of three or six hours, 5 days a week; some may offer 5/10 hours a day, 3 days a week. The funded entitlement hours can be taken between 6am and 8pm, and no funded entitlement session can be longer than 10 hours per day.

 

Providers can offer the funded entitlement hours over 38 term-time weeks (maximum 15/30 hours per week). Providers open all year can spread (‘stretch’) the funded entitlement hours over the weeks they are open, which gives parents fewer hours per week over more weeks of the year e.g. a provider open 52 weeks could offer parents approximately 11 Universal or Extended funded entitlement hours per week.

 

The year is divided into 3 terms or funding periods (spring, summer and autumn). Each term/ period has a maximum number of funded hours dependent on the number of weeks in the term/ period and which method (term time or stretched) the provider has adopted.

 

Childcare providers can choose for themselves when/ how they offer the funded entitlement hours.

 

Parents may not be able to access all or any of their funded entitlement hours at their first choice of provider. Parents can access their funded entitlement hours across a maximum of two childcare providers in one day. Parents will need to speak to providers individually to find out if and when they have available sessions. Individual providers manage their own waiting lists, admissions and offers of places.

 

The 3 & 4 Year Old Extended Entitlement

 

Information on and how to apply for the Extended Entitlement can be found at:-

www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

 

What will parents have to pay for?

 

Early Education Funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week term-time (570/1140 hours per year) of free, high-quality, flexible early learning and childcare. It is not intended to cover the cost of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional services. Parents can be expected to pay for these, although these charges must be voluntary to the parents. Parents should speak to the childcare provider directly to find out what they offer, and parents should check with them in advance of their child starting what extras they may be required to pay for. All childcare providers should communicate any charges clearly with parents. Invoices and receipts should be clear, transparent and itemised, allowing parents to see that they have received their child’s funded entitlement completely free of charge and understand fees paid for additional hours or services. Invoices and receipts should include the provider’s full details so that they can be identified as coming from a specific provider.

If parents only want to take up the funded entitlement hours, and no extra hours or any of the additional optional services, they need to check with the provider beforehand. Please note that some providers only have a limited number of places for children who just want to take up their funded entitlement hours (and nothing else), so parents should find a provider who can meet their needs.

 

What will parents have to sign?

 

The childcare provider should ask parents to sign a parental agreement prior to their child taking up a place, which should detail all their terms and conditions and charges. Parents should check this carefully before signing, to ensure that they are clear about the sessions being offered, any extra charges and any notice period.

Parents will also be asked to sign and complete a parent declaration form when the provider starts claiming the Early Education Funding for a child; parents will be asked for proof of a child’s date of birth.

 

Can Early Education Funding be claimed in another Local Authority?

 

Yes – the childcare provider will still claim the Early Education Funding. Parents should check with the childcare provider their Local Authority’s policy for funding, as it may differ from the RBWM/ AfC one. Parents can also split the funded entitlement between 2 providers in different local authorities, but this must not exceed the 15/30 hours maximum per week (term-time), 570/1140 hours per year (stretched), and parents must communicate to both providers how they wish to split the entitlement, and sign and date accordingly on a parent form at each setting.

 

How / when the funding is claimed?

 

Childcare providers claim the funding from the local authority each term. The funding is paid directly to the childcare provider. It is used by the childcare provider to cover the cost to them of providing the funded entitlement hours in terms of staffing, resources, running costs etc. Funding does not go directly to parents.  

The childcare provider submits funding claims by the agreed dates each term.

 

Starting School

 

All children can start school in the September of the academic year in which they turn five i.e. they start school in the September following their fourth birthday.

 

However, children do not legally have to start school until the beginning of the school term following their fifth birthday. Parents can choose to defer the time their child starts school if they wish. If parents defer their child’s start date at school, the child continues to be eligible for Early Education Funding at an Early Years provision. Once the child starts/ is registered at school, they are no longer able to access Early Education Funding.

 

If you wish to discuss any issues regarding your child’s entry into school, please contact the School Admissions Team:-

rbwm.admissions@achievingforchildren.org.uk

 

If parents have any questions or need advice, in the first instance please speak to your childcare provider.

If you need further help please email the Early Years Team at:-

rbwm.earlyyears-childcare@achievingforchildren.org.uk

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