GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND PRICING AT THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN - SEPTEMBER 2018
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 and consumables.
- 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.
IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXTENDED 3 & 4 YEAR OLD FUNDED HOURS
(30 HOURS IN TOTAL OVER 38 WEEKS/22 HOURS ALL YEAR)
We have a number of options available for those in receipt of 30 hours (22 hours all year):
If you wish to use only funded hours, with no additional cost except food*, then 10 of these hours can be taken on a Friday in a full-day 10-hour block. So for this funded day you would only pay our food & consumables charge (£13). 10 of these hours can also be taken on a Monday, for this funded day you would only pay our food & consumables charge (£13 + an additional £3.50 = £16.50). This is obviously subject to availability.
If you wish to be more flexible with your funded hours and/or use your hours on full days on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, then you can with the payment of an additional £7.50 in addition to food - so £20.50 for the entire day. The additional 2 funded hours per week are available in a 5th session where this funding creates a discounted morning rate of £24.20, afternoon rate of £21.70 or day rate of £49.70.
If you wish to access the 22 hours over 4 half-day sessions, you can, but there will be an additional charge of £6 for a morning session, in addition to the food/consumables charge of £8; £6.50 for an afternoon session, in addition to the food/consumables charge of £5. Again, the additional 2 funded hours per week are available in a 5th session at the rates highlighted above.
WHAT IF I’M NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE 30 HOURS - JUST THE UNIVERSAL:
The terms are exactly the same as above - except for just one fully-funded 10 hour day.
On a Friday you would just pay for food/consumables (£13)*. The additional 1 funded hour per week is available in a 3rd session where this creates a discounted morning rate of £27.85, afternoon rate of £25.35 and day rate of £53.35 (these session prices include food).
If you wish to be flexible with your funded hours and use your hours on full days on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, then you can with the payment of an additional £7.50 (only £3.50 for Mondays) in addition to food/consumables - so £20.50 for the entire day (£16.50 for Mondays). Again, the additional 1 funded hour per week is available in a 3rd session at the rates above.
If you wish to access the 11 hours over 2 half-day sessions, you can, but there will be an additional charge of £6 for a morning session, in addition to the food/consumables charge of £8; £6.50 for an afternoon session, in addition to the food/consumables charge of £5. Again, the additional 1 funded hour per week are available in a 3rd session at the rates highlighted above.
*While we do not insist that your child eats our home-cooked food; we strongly recommend it as mealtimes form an integral part of our day here at TCG and we are able to safely manage allergies, dietary requirements internally.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER WITH THE GOVT CHILDCARE CHOICES IF YOU ARE ONLY ACCESSING THE UNIVERSALLY-AVAILABLE 15 HOURS (11 WHEN STRETCHED).
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. 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).
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 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
Parents can also apply for Tax-free Childcare, which operates a bit like a voucher scheme. For every £8 a parent pays in the Govt contributes £2. The limit per annum is £2,000.
The criteria 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
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.
There is a very small contribution per session towards food of £6.80 per morning session, £4.30 per afternoon session and £9 per full day. The additional 1 funded hour per week is available in a 3rd session where this creates a discounted morning rate of £27.85, afternoon rate of £25.35 and day rate of £53.35 (these session prices include food).
TCG Pricing from September 2018
Standard Prices for all ages:
Full Day: £57
Full-Time children will receive a 10% discount on these fees