In the first two weeks of each term the childcare provider will carry out a head count of all children who qualify for Early Education Funding. The setting (which is a general term used to describe a place where childcare and early years education takes place, for example nurseries, childminders and crèches) then sends the list to the Early Years and Childcare Team, and the grant is paid directly to the setting on your child's behalf, usually at half-term. Parents need to ensure that when the provider gives them a copy of the Parent Declaration Form that it is signed and returned to the childcare provider in good time.
Parents cannot be required to pay up front for the funded element of their child's day.
If you are offered and accept a place at a school nursery funded by a Council authority (maintained school nursery) you do not need to complete a Parent Declaration Form.
If your child attends a maintained nursery and another childcare provider (e.g. a private nursery or childminder), you will not be able to claim the grant for the other provider, as your child will already be receiving free Early Years Education at their maintained nursery.
As of September 2012 Early Education Funding is worth £3.50 per hour.
Please note that many of the childcare providers supply additional services as well as nursery education, for example, childcare beyond your child's free entitlement to early years education. In these cases, parents will be charged a fee for those additional services. If you are not sure about additional fees and charges, speak to the person in charge (for example, the Nursery Manager) for more information.
Your childcare provider may ask you to sign an agreement regarding any fees and charges that are due. It may also cover the notice period you will be required to give if you decide to withdraw your child from their facility. This document may also cover the notice period the childcare provider will give you regarding any changes in current fees and charges. Please remember that this is a private contract between you and the childcare provider. As with all contracts, it is important that you read and understand the small print - do not sign an agreement if you are unsure about any of the terms and conditions.
Updated: 14 August 2013