Various options are available, depending on eligibility criteria.
Here is an explanation of what is available and our EYE Policy.
EYE (Early Years Education) Funding
Eligible 2 year olds/3-4 year olds - 15 hours/Eligible 3-4 year olds - additional 15 hours
All children from the 1st full term after their 3rd birthday are entitled to 15 hours per week government preschool funding (Early Years Education). Some families who are eligible may be able to claim for their 2 year olds or an additional 15 hours for 3 and 4 year olds. The funding is offered for 38 weeks of the year (or spread over 51 weeks of the year with the 'stretched' offer) and runs with the academic year, following the full term after your child’s birthday.
Your child can claim all their funded hours with us at Forest Footsteps Childcare or share the hours between different settings. If you are planning on sharing the hours, please contact Erin Cuffley directly regarding this. For 3 and 4 year olds (who are eligible for the additional 15 hours funding) may use more than two providers; but no more than two providers in one day.
When claiming funding, you will be invoiced termly - with a monthly payment plan for fees. Funding hours can also be stretched across the whole year (51 weeks) which is known as a 'stretched' offer. The local authority averages the payments over the year, so that each month's payment will remain the same.
The funded places provided for your child do not include funding to cover the cost of consumable items such as: drinks, meals, nappies or additional services/outings. These items will be included in your termly invoices. So that parents/guardians have a full idea of their fees to be paid (with no unexpected high expenses), we have calculated an average price for the cost of extras that are not included with the EYE funding. Your termly invoice will be calculated with an hourly charge for additional hours of childcare that fall outside of the funded hours and for set charges for the extra cost of consumables, food and outings.* Any full days that do not include any funding will be charged at our usual rates.
Additional hours outside of the funding and extra charges are to be paid in advance as set in the termly invoices. One month's fees of additional contracted hours and extra charges will be charged as a deposit, to secure your place. This will be agreed in advance. Your deposit will be credited to your final invoice, providing appropriate notice is given. Where appropriate notice has not been given, your deposit will be lost.
If children are absent due to illness or holiday, the additional hours contracted outside of funding and extra charges will still be charged for each of the days where your child would usually attend. To terminate the contract for the additional hours outside of funding and extra charges, four weeks' notice must be given in writing.
*Where parents/guardians do not wish to pay for the additional cost of extras, this may jeopardise their child’s place or the experiences your child takes part in. We provide all outings and activities to ensure a wide choice of experiences that stimulate, excite and extend the children’s learning and that meet their developmental needs. Some of our outings or experiences require higher adult to child ratios that our funding rate from the local authority does not cover.
Children need to bring a packed lunch and water bottle each day - please read and follow our lunchbox policy. If agreed by Forest Footsteps Childcare (where parents/guardians will not contribute towards the extra charges), they will need to provide their child with all food, drinks and nappies for the day. This may also effect the activities and experiences that will be offered.
15 hours free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds.
All children in England get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks.
Free education and childcare for eligible 2-year-olds
Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Tax credits (and you have an annual income of under £16,190, before tax)
The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
The Working Tax Credit 4-week run-on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:
They’re 'looked after' by a local council
They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
They get Disability Living Allowance
They’ve left care under a special guardianship order; child arrangements order; or adoption order
If you’re eligible, the free early education and childcare:
Must be with an approved childcare provider
Starts from the term after your child’s 2nd birthday
30 hours Free Childcare
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner) are:
In work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
Each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week. This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.
You’re not eligible if:
Your child doesn’t usually live with you
The child is your foster child
Either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits
or childcare vouchers.
If you can’t work
You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit,
Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.
You’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:
National Insurance number
Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed
It takes 20 minutes to apply. You may find out if you’re eligible straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.
You’ll get a childcare account if your application is successful and you can use it to get your code for 30 hours free childcare. If you pay for childcare and want to use Tax-Free Childcare to get help with costs, you can also apply, using this service.