In September 2017, free nursery funding for 3-4 year-olds came in to place. Over the last twelve months, there have been lots of questions about eligibility and the actual process of applying for funded places.
Here at Cuddles, we are very much in support of supplying funded nursery places for three and four-year-olds and have extended both our nursery settings and our teams to accommodate more places. As the summer term draws to a close, parents who are currently receiving funded places for 30 hours per week or those whose child/children turn three between 1st April and 31st August 2018, need re-apply for funding for September or submit their application for the first time.
The most asked question is when can my child receive a funded nursery place. In short, the answer is the September, January or April after their third birthday. For example, to start receiving funded sessions in the Autumn term (September), your child must have their third birthday on or before 31st August.
In terms of entitlement, all 3 and 4-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 hours (15 hours per week) of funded childcare or early education with an approved provider. This includes OFSTED registered and inspected child-minders, pre-schools, day nurseries and playgroups. This only needs to be applied for once.
For working parents, the amount of funded hours available is up to 30 hours per week depending on the amount of money earned. To qualify, parents must earn more than £120 per week (equivalent to 16 hours per week and the national living wage), and less than £100K per year. Parents and carers can choose where their child goes, providing there are places available. The extra 15 hours of free childcare needs to be reapplied for every three months.
It’s easy to apply for the 30 hours of funded childcare by following this link: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
Once you have completed the application, if you fit the criteria, you will be allocated an 11-digit code. Simply take this code to your childcare provider along with your national insurance number and your child’s birth certificate. Your chosen childcare provider with then use the governments’ eligibility checking system to book your child’s place.
Important Note To Parents:
Please remember that once you are in this system, to continue to receive funded hours, you will need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months. Cuddles cannot take responsibility for reminders to renew and if vouchers are not renewed in time, you will be expected to settle outstanding nursery fees. We believe that you should receive a reminder text message or email from the government before the deadline. **
For more information on applying for funded childcare, please visit https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs.
** Please note that meals, nappies and other sundries will be charged directly to parents and carers. For a full explanation of these costs, please speak to your nursery manager.