When you can and cannot offer the sessions
You can offer places –
- Between 6 am and 8 pm
- Up to 7 days a week
- Up to 1140 hours a year
- Term time or stretched up to 52 weeks a year
- Up to 10 hours a day
- With up to 2 providers a day
What you cannot do –
- Create a lunch break in the middle of the day and ask parents to pay extra
- Force parents to buy extra hours as a condition of receiving the funded hours
- Force parents into taking sessions they don’t want to take - but if you are full certain days / sessions then you are full and you need to inform parents about this in advance
- Tell parents they cannot have a place because they are not willing to pay for extra hours or contributions towards outings and / or other services you offer.
What you can and cannot charge
You can charge additional contributions towards extras costs to cover –
- Fully refundable deposit to hold the child’s place (not a registration fee unless the child is with you for additional non-funded hours). The deposit will need to be repaid as long as the child takes up their place with you - check your LA contract for more information.
- Outings – you will need to agree what happens if a parent says they are not willing to pay for their child’s outings and you take other children on regular outings
- Time taken for pick-ups and drop-offs to, for example, pre-school or nursery
- Classes eg if you have a visit from an atelier, footy tots or yoga teacher
- On-call fees if the child is elsewhere and you are ‘on call’ to collect them
You can charge for or ask parents to provide –
- Nappies, baby wipes, nappy bags and sun cream
- Food and drink**
**You will need to provide parents with information about your Healthy Eating Policy and details about the types of food and drink they need to supply for their child. Discuss in advance what will happen if the contents of their child’s lunch box (for example) are inappropriate. You will find sample information in the Information Guides on the Childcare.co.uk website (linked below).
You cannot charge extra for –
- Any activities or services provided as part of the normal curriculum eg paint, glue, cooking activities etc.
- Petrol - this will make you into a taxi service which is a can of worms you don't want to open...
Note - make sure you itemise invoices so parents know that they are getting their funded hours free and being charged for extra hours at your agreed rate and consumables as arranged when the child took up their place with you. You will find a sample invoice in Chapter 1 of the ’30 hours funding’ Information Guides on the Childcare.co.uk website (linked below).
The DfE state that all children must receive the same quality of care and learning experience, regardless of whether their parents pay for ‘extra’ services or not. Note that there is no requirement for any provider to offer the funded places.
What do parents need to do next?
Every Local Authority will have a slightly different way of checking parent details but as an overview -
- Parents need to log on to Childcare Works and check their eligibility – they should do this a term in advance.
- If they are eligible they will be given an 11 digit code from HMRC which they will bring to you.
- You will need to check the code with your Local Authority and complete the ‘headcount’ form.
Things to think about…
- What are you going to do now?
- Do you think you can offer all or part of the 30 hours?
- How will you work out extra charges with parents?
- What if parents refuse to pay for ‘extra’ services – what will you say to them?
What do you need to do next?
You might find it helpful to… speak to your colleagues and find out what they are doing… speak to your local nurseries and find out if they are willing to work in partnership with you… do a full budget and work out whether you can afford NOT to offer the sessions!
Find out if your LA has finalised their funding contract yet and check the details – all LAs will be offering slightly different arrangements.
More information and support
You can find UPDATED information about the 30 hours in the ’30 hours funding’ Information Guides (chapters 1 and 2) on the Childcare.co.uk website.
You can find more information in this YouTube webinar (presented by me… for childminders… on behalf of Childcare.co.uk.
There is more information on the Childcare Works website.
This is the latest information blog from Teachwire written by James Hempsall – ChildCare Works - (04. 2017)
This is another information blog you might find useful (April 2017).
You can find a ‘letter for parents’ in the above Information Guide from Childcare.co.uk and in files on the Independent Childminders Facebook group.
If anything doesn’t make sense, please ask!
Sarah | Knutsford Childminding