All children over 3 in England can receive 570 grant-funded hours per year (15 hours over 38 weeks). This is known as the “Universal 15 hours entitlement”. You can receive this from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday.
In 2017 the Government introduced an additional optional scheme for working parents. The full details can be found on the Government website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk but in short you could be eligible for an additional 15 hours of grant funded childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:
- In work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
- Each earning the equivalent of the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week.
- You earn less than £100,000 per year.
We offer 2 different ways of using your funded hours with us:
Fee Paying with Funded Hours
This is how most parents use their child’s free hours at Leap and Learn. Your childcare contract is your normal contract where we guarantee your child’s booked days/sessions and all the standard terms and conditions apply. Your monthly invoice will have the value of the free hours (as an averaged amount based on the number of hours claimed annually divided by 12, claimed at a standard hourly rate of £4.04) deducted from the total amount due.
Totally Funded Place
This is where a child attends for the funded hours only. Sessions can be taken as either full or half-day sessions. Totally Funded Places are confirmed no later than 2 weeks before the start of each term, the times and sessions offered will be subject to availability and cannot be reserved in advance or into a future term.
Totally Funded Places are offered on either a 38 (term-time) or 50 week (stretched) basis.
Stretched places are where the funded hours are spread over a full year. This offer allows a parent to claim 10 hours per week (15 hours entitlement) or 20 hours per week (30 hours entitlement) for 50 weeks of the year.
For children accessing Totally Funded Places we charge a fee of £3 per half day and £6 per full day (this will be rising to £4 per half day and £8 per full day on the 1stSeptember 2018) for consumables.
* Please note that we do have a limited number of Totally Funded Places.
** Full day sessions are 08:00 – 18:00 / Half-day sessions are 08:00 – 13:00 or 13:00 – 18:00
This fee is necessary because we receive £4.04 per hour per child from the Government. This is compared to the £6 an hour that it costs for us to provide a space for a child of pre-school age and so we have to charge an additional fee in order to cover the costs of all snacks and consumables in order to remain viable.
The cost of consumables includes the following: Hand towels, soaps, disposable gloves, disposable aprons, baby wipes, cleaning products, arts and crafts materials, training and resources for focus groups, cooking products. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
The Department of Education’s – Early Education and Childcare: Operational Guidance, has been updated to provide more clarification for providers and local authorities:
Under the heading “Meals, consumables and additional activities”, the updated guidance states, “Government funding is intended to deliver 15 to 30 hours a week of free, high-quality flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities. Parents can therefore expect to pay for any meals offered by the provider. Parents can also expect to pay for other consumables or additional activities.”