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Childcare assistance scheme, loans, grants and support for childcare providers.

First published:
26 March 2020
Last updated:

If you run a childcare service such as a nursery, crèche or are a childminder, you could get support from 1 or more schemes during the coronavirus outbreak.

Childcare Offer Wales

From 22 June 2020, when childcare services can increase the number of children they look after, we will provide Offer funding for children who were eligible for, and taking up the Offer, before the end of March, if that’s what the parent wants.

The Offer is suspended for new entrants until September 2020.

Coronavirus childcare assistance scheme

The childcare offer for Wales has been temporarily replaced by the coronavirus childcare assistance scheme.

Business Wales

You can apply for business support from us, including grants through Business Wales.

Check if you can apply for a start up grant for those self-employed, such as childminders or the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) on Business Wales.

Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Childminders who are self-employed could apply to claim a taxable grant. This grant is worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

If you are eligible, the HMRC will contact you to invite you to apply online. You do not need to contact HMRC.

Find more information about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme on GOV.UK.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme helps employers such as childcare providers with a Pay As you Earn (PAYE) scheme, to cover staff costs.

You may be able to get help if you are not able to open your service and care for children, or if your staff have no work because of coronavirus. You can keep staff on the pay roll who you have asked to stop working, this is known as being ‘on furlough’.

How many staff can be furloughed?

You can ‘furlough’ the number of staff that is the same amount of childcare funding you normally receive through private sources (such as payment from parents, employers or fees). For example, if 80% of your income is usually from private sources, you may furlough up to 80% of your staff. You can only do this if your service remains safe with less staff and you follow the latest guidance on the National Minimum Standards.

Your staff could get paid 80% of their wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

You should use February 2020 to represent your usual income when working out your costs.

If your income and outgoings were affected by half term (February 2020)

If your income and outgoings for February were affected by the half-term week, you can use the average of the other 3 weeks of February to work out your monthly income and costs.

If the privately funded percentage of staff is less than a whole and they cannot be furloughed

You should work to the nearest proportion of staff time possible, but you must make sure that you do not claim the Job Retention Scheme and use the Childcare Offer or the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme (C-CAS) for the same person.

Out-of-school childcare clubs

Staff who are employed by schools who run out of school childcare clubs, cannot be furloughed.

Taking staff off furlough to cover sickness

Staff placed on furlough can only be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks. Staff can be furloughed a number of times, but each instance can only be for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Find out more including how you will be able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK.

If you do not want to get the Childcare Offer funding and furlough your staff instead

You can choose not to get the Childcare Offer funding and furlough your staff if this is the only way your business remains viable. You must tell your local authority if you want to do this. They will stop payments and ask for any payments already made be returned.

Providers getting funding from Childcare Offer Wales, C-CAS or Flying Start

If you are getting funding from the Childcare Offer Wales or Flying Start you can still apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme. When you apply you must tell your local authority:

  • you are not using the scheme and Welsh Government funding to double fund the salaries of furloughed employees
  • the payments you get do not (combined with existing and anticipated public funding), mean you get a total amount of public funding that is more than your planned level of income to cover salaries

If your service is closed and all staff are on furlough, you need to repay any childcare funding received from the date all staff were furloughed.

If you are furloughing some or all staff part funded by private sources, you need to use the percentage rules on the number of staff you can furlough.

Changes to funding from Welsh Government and parent-paid income

If income from the Welsh Government changes, you should change the amounts that apply in other furlough applications. You do not need to make any changes if there are changes to your income paid by parents.

Support for businesses – deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

HMRC will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. People who are self-employed (such as childminders), Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system (‘payments on account’) will be deferred to January 2021.

You do not need to do anything. This is automatic, you do not need to apply.

HMRC – Time to Pay

If you are struggling to pay your tax on time, you could get support from the HMRC Time to Pay offer.

Find out what you need to do if you can’t pay your tax on time on GOV.UK.

Support for businesses who pay sick pay

If your staff cannot work because of coronavirus and are eligible, they can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day one of their illness. This used to be paid from the fourth day of illness. The Department for Work and Pensions intends to legislate for this. This change applies from 13 March 2020.

Staff who work on temporary or flexible contracts (sometimes known as the gig economy) or on a zero hours contract, may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay.

Check if your staff are eligible on GOV.UK.

If not eligible, they can apply for Universal Credit or the Employment Support Allowance.

Find information about Statutory Sick Pay, including eligibility and how to claim on GOV.UK.

Bounce Back Loan

This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • is based in the UK
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019

You can find more information on eligibility and how to apply on GOV.UK

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