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Funding

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There are different types of funding that are available to support you with childcare costs:

Early Years Pupil Premium

Check to see if you are eligible to receive the Early Years Pupil Premium.

2 Year Old Funding

2 year old funding is a Government funded scheme which is distributed by local authorities and is available to children/ families starting from the term after a child turns two.  Funding for working parents that meet certain eligibility criteria can be applied for here.  There is also funding for low income/disadvantaged parents.  Please refer to this website to see if you meet the criteria for low income and details for how to apply.

3 and 4 Year Old Funding

3 and 4 year old funding is a Government funded scheme which is distributed by local authorities.  All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for up to 15 hours of government funding for 38 weeks of the academic year.  Children become eligible the term after they have turned 3 (cut off dates are 31st August, 31st December and 31st March for the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms respectively).  For example, a child that turns 3 on 4th March (during the Spring term) becomes eligible for the Summer term; however a child turning 3 on the 4th April (a date which may still fall during the Spring term) would not be eligible until the Autumn term due to the cut off date.  Please note these cut off dates have been set by the Government to determine eligibility and are not determined by Early Days.

In addition to the 15 hours that every 3 and 4 year old is entitled to, some families may be able to claim an additional 15 hours of funding, bringing their funding entitlement up to 30 hours.  Parents must check their eligibility to see whether they qualify to receive 30 hours and register to get a special code which must be renewed every three months.  We encourage all families to check their eligibility for receiving 30 hours of funding; you can find information on how to do that here.

Parents are also able to split their funding hours across settings; if you attend another nursery or preschool, your funded hours can be divided between each setting in whichever way you choose, as long as you stay within your entitlement of either 15 hours or 30 hours.

How Government Funding Works at Early Days

As per the Government guidelines on funding: “Government funding is intended to deliver free, high quality flexible childcare. It is not intended to pay for the costs of drinks, snacks, other consumables, extra hours or additional services”.  At Early Days, funded children are asked to pay an additional services/consumables fee per funded hour, as well as our normal charges for breakfast, hot lunches and cold teas (if applicable).  Any additional hours that your child attends over and above your free funded hours are billed at our non-funded hourly rate for the respective age group.

The additional services/consumables fee refers to additional services that we provide as a private setting as well as the cost of consumables.  Across all ages receiving funding, this fee covers and is not limited to digital learning, book lending scheme, Tapestry Journal, nursery activities such as cookery, gardening, music and movement, niche staff training, end of term/year parties and events (e.g. sports day, concerts, picnics, etc), in house chef, snacks, drinks art and craft supplies plus consumables (e.g. nappies (for those under three), baby wipes, creams, hand towels, soaps, disposable gloves, aprons), etc.

Specific to our 3 and 4 year olds the additional services/consumables fee extends to cover additional tuition costs.  In order to provide children with the best learning and tuition opportunities that we can, Early Days employs a Professional Lead to devise the 3 and 4 year old curriculum to ensure that all EYFS standards are being met and adhered to.  We also employ a minimum of one fully trained teacher for our three and four year olds.  In addition, we provide a more favourable child to staff ratio by operating at a minimum of 1:6 (as opposed to the regulations of 1:8) to ensure that your child receives quality care and attention whilst in our care.  Indeed, for many of the core hours that your child attends, we actually operate at 1:5.  We also take pride in employing experienced more mature staff, as opposed to filling our classes with apprentices.   Learning and tuition for this age level is further supplemented with woodland school and additional learning opportunities  (i.e. Tatty Bumpkin, Mini Professors, etc).

Government funding covers 38 weeks of the academic year and the 15 and 30 hour entitlements for 38 weeks will be stretched by Early Days to cover the 51 weeks of provision at our setting.  In the case of 15 hours a week of funding, this will stretch to a maximum of 11 hours of funding per week and for 30 hours of funding, this will stretch to a maximum of 22 hours per week.

Parents are also able to split their funding hours across settings; if you attend another nursery or preschool, your funded hours can be divided between each setting in whichever way you choose, as long as you stay within your entitlement of either 15 hours or 30 hours.

The nursery does make provision for families that would like to opt out of paying the additional services/consumables fee by offering two fully funded 15 (or 11) hour sessions and one fully funded 30 (or 22) hour session across the nursery for funded children.  15 hour sessions are available between 1.00 pm and 6.00 pm for three days, one of which must be a Friday.  For those on our 51 week contracts, the 11 hour sessions are available between 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and between 12.00 pm and 6.00 pm on a Friday.  For those on 30 hours of funding on our 40 week term time contract, the fully funded sessions are offered from 12 noon to 6 pm for five days or for those on 22 hours, from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm on Mondays and 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm from Tuesdays to Fridays.   These fully funded sessions cannot be combined with morning session hours.  Exceptions to these hours may be made to the most disadvantaged parents.  Parents accepting a fully funded place have the option to provide their own lunch/cold tea.  All requests for fully funded places must be received in writing. All other families have access to funded hours but are asked to pay the additional services/consumables charge.

Accepting a funded place at Early Days, means that families acknowledge the terms within which we offer funding and that parents understand that they will be asked to pay an additional services/consumables fee per funded hour.  We want to be transparent in our charges to allow parents to make an informed decision as to whether our setting is within your financial means.

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