Childcare funding guide for providers
Deprivation is a key target area for the government, with an aim of narrowing the gap between children from different backgrounds.
We pay a deprivation supplement of £0.32 per hour to all 3 and 4-year-old pupils living in an SOA ranked amongst the 30% most deprived nationally.
Monthly checks will be run using the postcodes recorded against pupils, and if a pupil is found to be eligible we will pay the supplement from that point on. Please use the tool below to check whether a child attending your setting is eligible for the deprivation supplement. Eligible postcodes will be ranked with a 3 and under.
If the postcode is not listed, it could be due to it either being out of county or a new build.
Checking eligibility of 2 year olds
Any family with a child attending a childcare setting in West Northamptonshire can use the Online Eligibility Checker to find out if they are eligible for 2 year old funding.
The Online Eligibility Checker issues a reference number (beginning with EC) for all checks made, including those that are not eligible. The child's parent or carer will pass their eligible reference number onto their provider.
How do I know the reference number is valid?
To check the reference number obtained by a parent or carer use the checking tool below.
It is extremely important that you check the reference number is:
- a reference number confirming eligibility for funding
- still valid - that the reference number hasn't expired
If a place is offered to a family and the reference number is not eligible, no claim for funding can be made and no funding claim will be paid.
The reference number is active for 6 weeks. A parent or carer must have it checked within 6 weeks of issue by a childcare provider and reserve a place even if the child cannot start immediately; the childcare provider will keep the reference number.
If no place is found or reserved within 6 weeks, the number will expire and the parent must obtain a new reference number by using checker again.
Funding can only be offered from the date you receive the reference number.
Extended 30 hours’ early education and childcare funding for 3 and 4 year olds
30 hours’ early education and childcare is available to all eligible 3 and 4 year olds where the family earn between £8,000 and £100,000.
Parents and carers need to check eligibility for their funded place every 3 months, before the following dates:
- 31 March
- 31 August
- 31 December
It is the parent’s responsibility to check their eligibility for a 30 hours childcare place using the HMRC Childcare Choices website.
Eligibility must be re-confirmed every 3 months, before the end date is reached.
A parent or carer must have completed the eligibility check or re-confirmation of eligibility before the above dates. Any check made after this time will not be eligible until the next funding block.
It is the responsibility of the early year’s provider to remind parents and carers to re-confirm their eligibility. Early years providers can use the expiration dashboard on the Provider Portal to supply parents and carers with information regarding start and end dates of eligibility.
Providers must ensure they have seen and validated a 30 hours’ code before a funded place commences. Any check made after this time will not be eligible until the next funding block.
We cannot offer any discretionary funded places under any circumstances.
Extended 30 hours’ scheme for children in foster care
We have developed an online form specifically for 30 hours eligible children of foster carers.
How does a foster carer apply for the funding?
- The foster parent will speak with the child's social worker to determine their eligibility
- The foster parent will then complete the online eligibility form
- If eligible, they will be given an eligibility code (starting with 400)
- This confirmation code should be accepted by the provider in the same way as the standard 30 hours’ codes (starting with 500)
- Eligibility will need to be confirmed every 3 months. This will be carried out manually by us
What happens when a child at your setting leaves their foster carer?
When a child leaves their foster carer, the 30 hours’ code can be used in the current setting that the child attends for up to 4 weeks.
The code cannot be used all the way to the end of the grace period.
A claim with new early years provider cannot be made using the 30 hours’ foster code during this time and a new 30-hour code will have to be applied for through HMRC by the parents or carers of the child.
Disability Access Fund (DAF)
The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is designed to support children with disabilities or Special Educational Needs (SEN).
The DAF aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting early education and childcare providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of all children who attend the setting).
Providers who have funded entitlement children who are eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a single, one off payment.
Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of funded entitlement they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.
Who is eligible for Disability Access Fund?
3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for the DAF if the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and attends an early year’s education and childcare provider for the universal entitlement.
Any 4-year-old children already in Reception year are not eligible for DAF funding.
How do I identify eligible children?
Childcare providers are responsible for identifying children who are eligible for the DAF. Parents or carers of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance are required to provide documented evidence of this allowance.
How do I claim the DAF funding?
In order for childcare providers to make a claim for DAF funding, evidence of the child’s Disability Allowance must be emailed to [email protected].
How will I receive DAF funding for my setting?
- We will fund all registered early education and childcare providers providing a place for each child eligible for the DAF in their area at the fixed annual rate per eligible child
- The DAF will not be offset against any other funding, eg High Needs Funding
- The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their Funded Entitlement across two childcare providers, the parent/carer will need to nominate the main childcare provider who will receive the DAF funding
- If a child receiving the DAF moves from one childcare provider to another within a financial year, the new childcare provider is not eligible to receive the DAF funding for this child within the same financial year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped
- Where a child lives in one authority area but attends a childcare provider in a different Local Authority, the childcare provider’s Local Authority is responsible for funding the DAF for the child and eligibility checking
- All childcare providers who are eligible to receive funding for the Funded Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds are eligible to receive the DAF for any eligible children
Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)
The Early Years Pupil Premium is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers by improving the facilities, equipment and learning experiences to benefit the growth and development of eligible children.
All children aged 3 and 4 who meet the eligibility criteria will benefit from the funding. It will be paid to early years’ providers on an hourly rate basis, linked to claimed hours for eligible children.
Any provider registered to offer funded early years places will receive the EYPP if they have entitled children. All parents will be asked to supply details to allow a check to be run by the Local Authority - eligible parents will trigger a payment direct to the childcare setting.
Eligibility is updated on a monthly basis in case parent’s circumstances change. The children are funded from that point on if they do become eligible.
EYPP eligibility criteria
Parents can apply for early years’ pupil premium if they are aged 3 or 4 and get 15 hours funded childcare.
They must also receive at least one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
- Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - their household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax not including any benefits they get
They may also get the EYPP if their child is currently being looked after by a Local Authority in England or Wales or if their child has left care through:
- Special Guardianship Order
- a Child Arrangement Order
Please email [email protected] if a child fits into any of these criteria confirming they are or they were previously an LAC and you wish to claim the EYPP funding.
All aspects of early education and childcare funding will be subject to scrutiny and audits by us on a regular basis.
Last updated 04 October 2023