Nursery Education Grant settings (nurseries and childminders)
Attending a setting for 38 weeks per year
School nurseries funded by a Council authority (maintained nursery schools) provide early years education for 38 weeks per year. Private nurseries, playgroups and independent schools are encouraged to do so, but not all are able to. As a parent/carer you will need to check with the providers that interest you, before making your decision. The Council cannot fund top up weeks at a second provider or school. Contact the Family Information Service for information about sessional care (provides day care for children under eight for a continuous period of less than four hours in any day, in premises which are not domestic premises sometimes known as ‘pre-school playgroups’ or ‘sessional playgroups’), full daycare (provides day care for children under eight for a continuous period of four hours or more in any day, in premises which are not domestic premises), childminders and maintained schools.
Childcare provider not offering 38 weeks
Many childcare providers are planning to move to 38 weeks. Please talk to the person in charge of your group setting about this. If they do not have plans to move to 38 weeks and you want to access the extra funding, you will need to consider changing provider. The Family Information Service will have an up to date list of providers in Richmond.
If your children’s nursery offers less than 38 weeks per year, you cannot send them to another setting to make up the difference. Once you sign the Parent Declaration Form at the beginning of term to receive the grant through a particular childcare provider, extra weeks at the end of term or year cannot be claimed elsewhere.
Basic entitlement of 15 hours per week only
If you require the basic entitlement of 15 hours per week only, you are advised to seek a place at your local school nursery funded by a Council authority (maintained nursery school) or discuss your request with your Nursery Manager or childminder. In the event that your childcare provider is unable to offer you 15 hours, please contact the Family Information Service for further advice.
Splitting the 15 hours per week
The 15 hours can be split between a maximum of two childcare providers per week. Each provider will claim your child’s eligible hours per week.
Some childcare providers are able to offer the fifteen hours more flexibly i.e. not in fixed three hour sessions per day. You can ask your preferred provider whether they offer flexible places or not. If they do offer flexible places, and you would like one, you will still need to agree the days/times that your child will attend each week, and these will then be fixed for a set period, for example, for three months.
Under the flexibility scheme, a miniumum session is two and a half hours, and the maximum grant funded session permitted is ten hours, in hourly or half-hourly blocks of time. Your child must atetnd for two days a week (or more) to claim fifteen hours a week.
Claiming the Nursery Education Grant in a setting outside of Richmond
You can claim the Nursery Education Grant in a setting outside of Richmond. You will need to sign a Parent Declaration Form at the beginning of term at each eligible setting, up to a maximum of 15 hours per week, regardless of where the setting is. However, procedures may be different in other boroughs: check with the local Family Information Service, if you require any more information. A national list of all Family information Service numbers can be found on the NAFIS website;( then follow the ‘Find your FIS’ link).