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Guidance for childcare providers

I am a childcare provider and want to help people who are coming from Ukraine

We understand that people are eager to help people who are coming from Ukraine and this is very much in the spirit of us all ensuring that Wales is a “nation of sanctuary”. 

The needs of any child or young person already living in your home and the children for whom you provide registered childcare remains of utmost importance and their welfare or experience should not be overlooked and should be taken in to account in any decisions that are made. Everyone living in a household should be involved in decisions around becoming a sponsor family.

Can I welcome people from Ukraine into my home and continue to provide registered childcare? What do I need to know in terms of security checks?

All applicants for the Homes for Ukraine scheme must meet some basic pre-departure security checks. These checks will be led by the Home Office. All those who are successful will have an initial visa allowing them to live and work in the UK for six months, during which they will need to provide biometric details at a visa centre in the UK. Once applicants have done this, their visa will be extended to three years.

The Home Office will also lead on background checks in relation to the lead sponsor and all adults in the household where the person (or people) arriving from Ukraine will stay, to help keep everyone safe. The lead sponsor in a household will need to seek the consent of all adults in the household to provide their details on the application form for these checks.

Shortly after the individual or family arrives from Ukraine, your local authority will complete some basic checks on the accommodation and living arrangements. If you are hosting within your own home, your local authority will seek assurances that appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service checks have been completed for all members of your household who are 16 or over.

If you are a registered child minder, there will be some other important steps which you must take to ensure that we minimise any risk of harm to the children in your care.

If the people you are sponsoring are aged 16 or over and you are hosting them within your own home, you must:

  • familiarise yourself with the Welsh Government’s Homes for Ukraine: guidance for sponsors, particularly in terms of how you can support individuals who have been exposed to distressing events
  • notify CIW of plans to provide a home for someone from Ukraine through your online account
  • continue to request a DBS check for the people from Ukraine and provide written confirmation to CIW that this has been done. This may not be straightforward in the short term and CIW can support with this process as appropriate
  • while a DBS check is being requested, assure yourselves about the suitability of all household members without a DBS check living, working or having regular contact with minded children
  • provide a written undertaking to CIW that you will ensure:
    1. you make reasonable enquiries with the Ukrainian individual/s to confirm that there is nothing of relevance in their criminal history to a household where there are minded children
    2. the person is not left unsupervised with minded children
    3. parents of minded children are informed in advance of the presence of any new household member/members and the limitations of the records checking arrangements
    4. all requirements concerning the maximum number of minded children in the household at any one time are met, e.g. take account of any new children in the household.

You can provide a home for anyone under the age of 16 without this impacting on your child minding business, other than the requirement under (4) above.

If you are a registered provider of day care providing care for children at a premises which is different from the premises where you plan to host people you are sponsoring from Ukraine, you must:

  • familiarise yourself with the Welsh Government’s Homes for Ukraine: guidance for sponsors
  • notify CIW of plans to provide a home for someone from Ukraine through your online account
  • make reasonable enquiries with the Ukrainian individual/s to confirm that there is nothing of relevance in their criminal history to a household where there are minded children.

For how long will these arrangements continue?

These are temporary arrangements which have been introduced to address the specific situation which has arisen as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The Welsh Government will review these arrangements at the end of July 2022.

Is there any financial support to help with DBS checks?

There is no financial support to help with DBS checks. If there is going to be a new person in your household, it will be for you to apply for a DBS check and meet the costs associated with those checks.

I am a registered child minder and want to be funded to provide the Childcare Offer for a child from Ukraine who is now living at the same address as myself.

You can be funded to provide care for a child from Ukraine who is not related to you as long as:

  • you are registered with CIW as a child minder
  • you are signed up with your local authority to deliver the Offer
  • the child and the parent/s meet the eligibility criteria for the Offer.

If you are related to the child in any way, you can still be funded to provide care for the child under the Childcare Offer as long as the above conditions are met and as long as you do not have parental responsibility for the child.

In all circumstances, you must ensure that you can still meet the adult:child ratio requirements in the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare. The ratios include any children under the age of 12 on the premises including your own children and any others for whom you are responsible.

I am a nanny, what do I need to do?

If you work for a family who are sponsoring someone from Ukraine and they live in the same household as the children you care for, you should discuss with your employer/the children’s parents to see if there are additional steps you need to take to safeguard the children in your care.

Guidance for local authorities

Will families coming in to the UK be eligible for the Childcare Offer?

As Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary, any person living and working here can access the funded childcare delivered under the Childcare Offer if they meet the wider eligibility criteria. This includes those from other countries who are resident in Wales where they have a right to remain and a right to work. 

Families coming in to Wales from Ukraine will be granted a UK Government visa, giving them permission to work in the UK. Therefore provided both parents in a two-parent family are working, or one parent in a single parent household, and provided they meet the wider eligibility criteria, they will be able to access the Offer.

What happens if we receive applications for the Childcare Offer from two different families living at the same address?

It is possible that there will be households in Wales wanting to access the Offer who are made up of both a sponsor family and a Ukrainian family. In these cases the families being considered to be two separate households.

This means that where a sponsor family is already accessing the Offer, sponsoring a Ukrainian family will not impact their ongoing eligibility. Where a sponsor family applies for the Offer, the fact that they are sponsor a Ukrainian family should not be taken in to account when assessing their application. 

Where a Ukrainian family who is being sponsored applies for the Offer, the fact that they are living with another family should not be taken in to account when assessing their application.

Will families coming in to the UK be eligible for the Additional Support Grant?

Where a child of a Ukrainian family requires additional support to be able to access the Offer, provided the family is eligible to access the Childcare Offer, they would also be able to access the Additional Support Grant (ASG). 

It is possible that the child’s needs may be complicated by other issues, such as language barriers or trauma. When considering an application under the ASG, local authorities take account of these wider needs and should ensure join up of all relevant support programmes that are available for children and families, and specifically for Ukrainian families. 

When applying for the Childcare Offer, what information should a Ukrainian family be required to provide?

Ukrainian families will need to provide evidence to demonstrate that they are eligible for the Offer. This includes information about where they live, the age of their child and their employment status. However it’s likely that some of this information may not be readily available, for example, their children’s birth certificate.

The list below details the evidence that would suffice, however local authorities should use discretion where the evidence required is not readily available and should take a wider range of information into account.

Evidence to be provided, where possible:

  • Proof of the child’s age – ideally this will be the birth certificate, but where this is not possible other formal documentation could be used where it shows the child’s age, for example a passport or a visa
  • Evidence of parental responsibility – ideally this will be one of the following - Child Benefit letter; Tax Credits letter; letter from Nursery Admissions; or, child’s medical record/red book
  • Proof of address – ideally this will be a recent utilities bill, council tax statement or bank statement dated within the last 3 months. Where this is not possible, any official correspondence may be provided instead
  • Proof of income – for an employee this will ideally be 3 months of pay slips, but where this is not possible a letter from their employer could be provided instead
  • Proof of self-employed earnings – ideally this will be a copy of accounts, letter from their accountant or their latest Self-Assessment Tax Return including unique tax reference (UTR) number. Where they have been self-employed for less than 12 months, an HMRC letter showing the UTR number and date of registration is acceptable
  • Proof of exception – ideally this will be a copy of a benefit statement or a letter from their employer confirming their leave from work e.g. for maternity, parental or statutory sick leave.
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