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Guidance for providing 30 hours of early education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

First published:
6 August 2020
Last updated:

I can’t operate in the way I normally would because of Covid-19 (e.g. my staff are having to self-isolate or I cannot access the premises where my services would normally run). Can I have any funding to help me through this period of temporary disruption?

Childcare Offer funding may continue to be paid based on booked hours in some circumstances where Covid-19 is causing disruption to childcare services. Your local authority may also be able to provide some funding to help with additional costs or loss in income which you are facing as a result of Covid-19. You should contact your local authority and discuss this with them.

Read details of the full range of support for businesses.

Children’s attendance at my service had been disrupted because of Covid‑19. Can I have any funding to help me through this period of temporary disruption?

Childcare Offer funding may continue to be paid based on booked hours for a limited time in some circumstances where Covid-19 is causing disruption to your service. Your local authority may also be able to provide some funding to help with additional costs or loss in income which you are facing as a result of Covid-19. You should contact your local authority and discuss this with them.

Read details of the full range of support for businesses.

Will I be paid in arrears or in advance by the local authority?

This will vary depending on the local authority. You should contact your local authority and discuss this with them.

What if I have to close my setting for deep cleaning?

You can continue to receive payment for Offer children based on booked hours to cover the short temporary disruption, unless the child is being funded to attend an alternative setting during the period. Providers are responsible for all costs for a deep clean of their setting.

What do I do if a parent approaches me wanting to take up the Offer but their application has not yet been approved?

An application for the Offer needs to be approved before a child is allowed to take up the Offer. A parent can use childcare whilst they are waiting for their application to be processed but they should do so at their own cost; childcare payments under the Offer are not backdated. As a provider, you must be aware that if an application for Offer funding has not been approved by the local authority, there is a risk that the application may not be approved and the parent will be liable for any costs. This will then need to be resolved between you as the provider and the parent.

What guidance should I follow for the safe operation of my service?

Will the Childcare National Minimum Standards (NMS) be temporarily relaxed during the coronavirus pandemic?

Temporary relaxations to the National Minimum Standards were reintroduced on 14 January 2021 to support childcare services. These can be applied until 30 June 2021.

Can I expect my service to be inspected?

You can find more information on inspections on the Care Inspectorate Wales website.

What if I operate from a community, church or chapel hall or leisure centre/sports venue?

You can continue to operate from your premises but only if the premises is allowed to be open under the current restrictions. The owner/manager of the property should be able to advise. Community halls and places of worship may open for public services, including childcare, although many entertainment and sports venues are required to close under current restrictions. Where settings are open, relevant protective measures should be observed.

I deliver the Childcare Offer. Can I also claim the UK Government’s Job Support Scheme or Self-Employed Income Support Scheme if I close my setting or if the way my business operates changes?

Please see our pages on financial support. You may also find it helpful to talk to your local authority about your options in terms of funding support,

Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN)

Funding for FPN is distributed through the Revenue Support Grant (RSG). All decisions relating to how RSG is administered are for individual local authorities. Decisions on how this element of the 30 hour Childcare Offer is funded during the pandemic therefore rests with individual authorities and may vary from authority to authority.