A CAMPAIGN from Warwickshire County Council aims to ensure parents can access their child’s early education funding.
The authority has launched its ‘Find Out or Miss Out’ campaign, targeting parents around Warwickshire.
It says during the ongoing pandemic, it has become apparent that the usual channels for parents to gain information about the early education funding entitlements, via early years providers, has broken down due to limited contact with support networks.
This has resulted in some parents not knowing how to take up their funded place or understanding how to claim their entitlements including financial support for working parents in need of childcare.
Reports of far lower than normal take-up of places and bookings has raised further alarm among council chiefs and education and childcare providers. Parents are also reporting they do not know how to access a funded place or what they are entitled too.
The county council has supplied the following information on the availability of funded places to Warwickshire parents and carers, in line with specified criteria:
Funding for two-year-olds
Parents may be able to claim up to 15 hours funded childcare per week over a minimum of 38 weeks for their two-year-old from the term after their second birthday. Application and eligibility criteria apply, for full details parents can go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childcarecosts
Funding for three and four-year-olds – universal hours
All children are entitled to 15 hours funded childcare per week from the term following their third birthday over a minimum of 38 weeks. These hours can be accessed via day nurseries, pre-schools, maintained nursery schools and classes and some childminders. Families do not need to apply for this as the early years provider will complete all necessary information and paperwork with the parents.
Funding for three and four-year-olds – extended entitlement hours (30 hours)
Working parents may be entitled to an additional 15 hours funded childcare per week over a minimum of 38 weeks per year from the term following their child’s third birthday. This is applied for via HMRC: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk eligibility criteria apply.
Parents wanting to find out if they are eligible and apply for tax-free childcare and 30 hours free childcare, should watch this video for step-by-step guidance on what you need to do to apply.
Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)
Childcare providers may be able to claim extra funding for a child to enhance the quality of children’s early education.
Children will be eligible for the EYPP if parents are in receipt of one or more of a number of benefits or credits. If parents are in receipt of one of these benefits or credits, they can complete the EYPP application section on the parental declaration form their early years provider will have asked them to complete.
Disability Access Fund (DAF)
To be eligible for DAF three and four-year-olds must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance – (a copy must be given to your childcare provider) and the child receives some or all of the universal 15 hours entitlement
To claim DAF you must fully complete and sign the DAF application section on the parental declaration form given to you by your early years provider.
Education spokesman for the county council Colin Hayfield said: “There are huge benefits for young children accessing early years education whether that is through a nursery or pre-school. These include socialising with other children, developing all important social skills and learning through play.
“In addition to the benefits for children, there are huge benefits for parents too as childcare provision will provide them a break after 4 long months of lockdown restrictions and allow them to return to employment as the furlough scheme slowly comes to an end in the UK”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk and search for family and child care costs.