The Childcare Offer for Wales (30 hours Childcare)
What is the Childcare Offer?
The Childcare Offer for Wales is a Welsh Government initiative and will provide eligible working parents with 30 hours childcare for 3-4 year olds only.
How many hours of childcare am I eligible for?
The 30 hours childcare is a combination of Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) (between 10 – 12.5 hours) and childcare (between 17.5 – 20 hours), for up to 48 weeks per year.
Parents are not required to access their early education entitlement as a prerequisite to accessing the childcare element of the offer, however, their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not.
If additional Foundation Phase Nursery hours are offered/accepted the amount of childcare hours will be reduced accordingly
When can I access the offer?
The Childcare Offer is available across the whole of Torfaen County Borough Council.
Eligible children will be able to access the childcare offer from the term after their 3rd birthday, until they enter full time education.
Parents can take up the childcare offer at any point during this time period, so long as they are eligible to do so. Parents should be able to access the offer from whichever point they wish during that term, providing their child was eligible from the beginning of that term, or earlier. This includes parents who move into the area or gain employment.
Please note that you will only be eligible from the date stated on the confirmation letter you receive from the Blaenau Gwent Childcare Offer Team once your application has been processed.
Who is eligible for the Offer?
Eligible working parents will need to be earning the equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum wage , national living wage or more, and be a resident in Torfaen. An upper income cap for working parents is set at £100,000. If part of a couple, both parents must be working and meet this requirement. If either parent earns above this upper income cap, they will not be eligible for the offer.
Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer.
Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in partners will all need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within that household to be able to take up the offer.
If a parent falls out of eligibility (i.e. cease employment) a temporary exemption period of 8 weeks will be granted during which they will be able to continue to access the offer.
Exceptions to eligibility:
There are some circumstances in which parents will be able to access the offer when they don’t meet the eligibility criteria:
- Where one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay or are in receipt of statutory maternity / paternity pay.
- Where one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits or has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring;
- Newly self-employed parents
- Kinship carers, family and friends carers who have taken responsibility for a child or step child who is not their own because:
The child has no parents or has parents who are unable to care for the child
It is likely that the child would otherwise be looked after by a local authority because of concerns in relation to the child’s welfare
Can I use more than one childcare provider?
Yes you can use up to TWO registered childcare settings per day in addition to their nursery education setting in any given day during term time. You can use only use two registered childcare settings during school holidays.
How much childcare can I access during school holidays?
The Childcare Offer will cover up to 48 weeks per year, this includes 9 weeks of school holidays. During 9 weeks of these school holidays parents can apply up to 30 hours of funded childcare.
During an academic school year parents could be entitled to 39 weeks of Foundation Phase Nursery Education and funded childcare. However parents can only access funded childcare for 9 out of the 13 school holiday weeks. Therefore parents could be responsible for fees outstanding during, both, term time and school holidays.
Parents can choose which holiday periods they would like to use, however holiday weeks are limited to 3 weeks per term. Parents are advised to speak to their childcare provider to ensure they know how many hours they are claiming during some holiday periods.
How do I apply?
If you have checked the eligibility criteria you can apply online at https://bit.ly/ChildcareOfferTorfaen2020 . Please note that you can only make an application 6 weeks prior to your child starting nursery education. Early applications will be rejected.
In order to complete the application you will need to submit copies of:
• Childs birth certificate or Passport
• Proof of address, this could be a utility bill or council tax bill
• Last three months wage slips. (If part of a couple you must each provide your last three months’ wage slips, or self-employed earnings evidence. However, if one of you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you will need to provide evidence of this).
- Children Starting Nursery Education April 2020 – application dates will be released during end of February / beginning of March 2020
- Children Starting Nursery Education September 2020 – application dates will be released during end of July / beginning of August 2020.
Please visit our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TorfaenFIS for updates about the offer.
Please note that children whose 3rd birthday is between between 1st April – 31st August will not be eligible for the offer until the September.
How long does the application process take?
If you have submitted an application you can typically expect acknowledgement of your application from Blaenau Gwent Childcare Team within 10 working days.
Parents will be issued with a unique reference number and a childcare booking form that will need to be completed with your chosen childcare setting. Please note that funding for the offer will not begin until a start date has been confirmed and the application process has been completed. Funding will not be back dated.
If you have any queries about the status of your application please contact Blaenau Gwent Childcare Offer Team on 01495 355 672 or by Email ChildcareOffer@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk.
For general inquiries about the Childcare Offer call Torfaen Family Information Service Freephone 0800 0196 330 or email email@example.com
Frequently asked questions regarding the childcare offer, including eligibility criteria can be found here.