GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND PRICING AT THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN
Here at TCG Norwich, we use a method which makes it easy for parents to access funded hours, but that is also sustainable for us so we can maintain quality and future investment. We strive to deliver a magical setting and experience for your children, with superb staff, and we are not prepared to reduce our quality due to the funding restraints of the Govt 3 & 4 year old scheme. However, we do recognise the significant financial assistance which Govt Funding provides and we want it to work for both parents and us.
Firstly, a few facts to help, as there is a great deal of misinformation out there and we recognise that it can be confusing for parents:
- Govt Funding is only for the educational element of your child’s early years. It does not cover other areas such as food, consumables, specialist education eg Montessori or other services eg Famly, or 30 minutes of our 10.5 hour day.
- There is now a widespread move to remove the word ‘free’ from any funded communication (Suffolk County Council has now formally done this) to recognise that the funding rates being paid cannot possibly meet the costs of providers (especially those with a quality offering).
- The maximum number of funded hours able to be claimed in a day is 10.
- The 15 hours and 30 hours are only for 38 weeks of the year (term-time only).
- We use the Stretched Offer - where the funded hours are spread out over the whole year - rather than term-time only. This means that the 30 (Extended) and 15 (Universal) hours when stretched become 22 and 11 hours per week respectively.
- Your child becomes eligible for 3 & 4 Year Old funding the term AFTER their 3rd birthday. These dates are January 1st, April 1st and September 1st. If your child’s birthday falls on one of these days then they are not eligible until the following term.
ALL 3 & 4 YEAR OLDS, REGARDLESS OF PARENTAL CIRCUMSTANCES, ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE UNIVERSAL FUNDING. IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXTENDED HOURS THEN WE CAN ONLY CLAIM THE UNIVERSAL HOURS.
HOW TO ACCESS FUNDING?
- Do register early if you think you are eligible (see below) for the EXTENDED funded hours AND let us know if you are going to be accessing these extra hours or not
- We will contact you via Famly, prior to the start of every academic term, to parents of all children who will be in receipt of Govt Funding for the following term to explain how your child’s current sessions would work with the funding and what your monthly bill will be
- If you wish to change these sessions then you will need to request this in writing via Famly to TCG Norwich Accounts or TCG Admin. Current booked sessions are given priority and any changes are subject to availability.
- Each term, you will be asked to sign a new Parent Declaration Form confirming how many funded hours you wish to access. (Please note, we are stretching the funding over the whole year, not the 48 weeks mentioned in the form).
- You will also need to sign a copy of this document to notify your understanding and acceptance of our Ts & Cs below (only once - when your child first receives funding)
- Please ask our office for a copy of our up to date Funding Information sheet which has the costs of funded sessions for both Universal and Extended funding
Eligibility for Extended Funding Offer
Parents apply via a HMRC online portal called Childcare Choices at childcarechoices.gov.uk
So you will need to create a Government Gateway account if you don’t have one
HMRC Childcare Choices provides you with an ID code to determine your eligibility
You give TCG this ID code plus your NI number, address and child’s DOB and your written consent for us to check these.
We verify this code with Norfolk CC
******Parent must reconfirm eligibility with HMRC every 3 months when prompted by text and/or email********
There is a grace period of one term if you become ineligible.
It is important that you apply for the code during the term before your child turns 3 - if you do not have your code in time for the first eligible term you will need to wait for the following term!!
Any problems with setting up then please ring Childcare Service Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097
For more information go to childcarechoices.gov.uk
Tax-free Childcare & Childcare vouchers
Parents can also apply for Tax-free Childcare, which operates a bit like a voucher scheme. This is purely a method of payment and nothing to do with Govt Funding. For every £8 a parent pays in the Govt contributes £2. The limit per annum is £2,000.
The criteria for joining are broadly similar to the 30 hours (for working parents).
They are introducing it as the childcare voucher schemes are gradually being phased out.
It is not available to parents in receipt of Tax Credits, Universal Credit or existing Vouchers. (you can’t do both TFC and Vouchers).
For more information go to childcarechoices.gov.uk
We accept all the main childcare vouchers. So if you are part of a scheme through your employer, all you need to do is get your voucher scheme login details via your employer and the voucher company. Search for and select The Children’s Garden Montessori Nursery (NR4 7TY) and then you can decide how much you wish to pay us each month in this way. Many parents pay a regular amount per month with vouchers eg £243 and then settle any balance via a monthly Bacs payment.
Please note that there is a delay between you authorising a voucher payment and the money reaching our account.
2 YEAR OLD FUNDING:
We accept 2 year old funding. There are strict eligibility criteria for this and you will have been informed by Norfolk County Council if you are eligible. We will need to see this letter and you will need to complete a Parent Declaration Form which will include the eligibility code.
2 year old funding is only available for 38 weeks of the year and we are open all year so we have opted to stretch this funding across the whole year - just as we do with the 3 & 4 year old funding. This means that the 15 hours becomes 11 per week.
Please ask the office for details of prices for children in receipt of 2 Year Old Funding
*Please note that when your child moves from 2YO Funding to the 3 & 4 Year old funding the session prices do increase.
TCG Session Pricing from April 2019
Standard Prices for all ages:
Full Days Tuesday - Thursday: £60.50
Full Day Monday: £57 (discounted to reflect that we charge for Bank Holidays)
Full Day Friday: £59 (discounted slightly to reflect that we charge for Bank Holidays
Forest School Experience surcharge: £50 per month (participating Foresters only)
Full-Time children will receive a 10% discount on these fees