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What is the Childcare Offer?

 

What is the Childcare Offer for Wales?
The Childcare Offer for Wales provides working parents of three and four year olds with up to 30 hours per week of combined Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) education and additional funded childcare for up to 48 weeks per year. The Offer will build on children’s existing FPN education entitlement during term time, and provide up to 30 hours of funded childcare for nine weeks of the school holidays.

How many hours of childcare am I eligible for?
The offer is a maximum of 30 hours of combined FPN education and additional funded childcare.  RCT offers children, from the term following their 3rd birthday, 15 hours of FPN education.  This means that during term time, eligible parents can access an additional 15 hours of funded childcare.

Parents are not required to access their FPN education entitlement in order to access the childcare element of the Offer.  However their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not.

If your child’s school offers full time FPN education, then your term time entitlement through the Childcare Offer will be taken up by the FPN education provision and you will not receive any additional funded childcare.  You will still be eligible for 30 hours of funded childcare for nine weeks of the school holidays.

How many hours of education am I eligible for?
The education element of this offer is subject to normal RCT School Admissions rules.  Parents must apply for a FPN education place by the dates detailed on the RCT School Admissions webpage.  This is a separate application to the one made for the funded childcare element of the Childcare Offer. 

As well as school settings, children may be able to access their education place through a Registered Education Provider (REP).  These are CIW registered childcare settings who are also inspected by Estyn to deliver pre-nursery FPN education.  Please note – we only fund education places in REP’s for children who are 3 years old between September and March each year.  Children who are 3 between April and August each year will start at a school setting in the following September. 

You will not receive more than 15 hours of funded childcare per week during term time if you do not take up an FPN education place (i.e. we cannot ‘top up’ the funded childcare element of the offer to 30 hours per week during term time). 

Further details on how to apply for a FPN education place can be found at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/schooladmissions.

When will my child become eligible?

 The chart below explains when you can apply for the Childcare Offer:

If your child is born between

Eligible from

Eligible to

Applications open

1 September 2018 - 31 December 2018

4 January 2022 (start of Spring term)

31 August following their 4th   birthday 2023

Open

1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019

25 April 2022 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th   birthday 2023

Open

1 April 2019 -  31 August 2019

5 September 2022  (start of Autumn term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2023 Open

1 September 2019 - 31 December 2019

9 January 2023 (start of Spring Term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2024 7th November 2022

Please note: In RCT, these admission dates remain the same each year and do not change according to when Easter falls.  

If you apply before these dates, your application will be automatically rejected and you will need to reapply after the application open date.

New National Digital Service

The way parents apply for the Childcare Offer is changing.  If your child was born on or after 1 September 2019, you will need to apply via the new national Childcare Offer for Wales digital system.  Applications will open in November 2022 and more information will be available here soon.  Find out more about the new national digital service here.