Extended Entitlement FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - taken from the Locality Partnership Planning Events, Business Workshops & Strategic Leadership Forums

Contracts & Staffing:

  • Are there to be new parent contracts?

    The current contract will remain until 31st August 2017 when a revised contract based on the national Department for Education (DfE) model agreement will be introduced for 2017-18. You have the option to continue with your existing parental agreement until the 31 August 2017 and then use the proposed model agreement from 1 September 2017 or you can use the proposed model agreement from the summer term onwards.

  • Is there to be a new LA funding agreement for the summer term?

    A new funding agreement is currently being developed with the Early Years Improvement Partnership (EYIP) and stakeholder groups in line with the requirement of the new statutory guidance published on the 3rd March 2017. This will be implemented from the 1st September 2017.

  • Can providers and schools offer two contracts?

    Page 12 of the DFE Statutory Guidance clearly sets out that LAs should:  "ensure providers deliver the free entitlements consistently, so that all children accessing any of the free entitlements receive the same quality and access to provision, regardless of whether they opt to pay for optional hours, services, meals or consumables".

    Having choice over the hours they can access the entitlement, and not having to reserve a place each term are not additional services, but are about the access to core provision. There should be no difference in the core provision of funded hours available to parents taking the free entitlements, regardless of whether they choose to pay for optional extras.
    Providers should make clear over what days and hours of the week they will offer the entitlements and this should be available to all who take up the entitlements, regardless of whether their parents choose to pay for optional extras. Providers can, of course, charge parents for additional hours outside the core provision. (Taken from DfE answers to National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) 13th March 2017.)

  • Do we need to amend existing staff contracts if their contract is only for so many hours?

    This will be an issue for individual providers to address according to their particular circumstances in line with Employment Law. Further information can be sought from https://www.gov.uk/contract-types-and-employer-responsibilities/overview 

Eligibility Criteria

  • If one parent earns over £100,000 they are not eligible

  • If parents drop out of eligibility the grace period will apply. Please see pages 10 and 11 in statutory guidance.

  • If a parent has been deployed the family will still meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Parents living across county borders will be eligible to claim their extended entitlement in the summer term in a NYCC setting if the child was attending before 26th January 2016. From September 2017 all eligible parents living cross border will be entitled to claim.

  • A sole parent who isn't working and in receipt of carers allowance will not be eligible against national criteria. Where one parent is working (and meets the income requirements) and the other is not working because they are disabled or are in receipt of benefits relating to caring responsibilities or a disability (e.g. in receipt of carer's allowance), we will treat these households as eligible for the purposes of the additional 15 hours. 

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1257/pdfs/uksi_20161257_en.pdf

  • You and your partner (if you have one) must either:

  • expect to earn £115 a week or work more than 16 hours a week at the national living wage (unless you became self-employed less than 12 months ago) or each expect to earn at least £111 a week or work more than 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage (unless you became self-employed less than 12 months ago).

  • expect to earn at least £61.92 a week if you're under 18, £84.80 a week if you're aged 18-20 or £52.80 a week if you're an apprentice (either under 19 or in the first year of your apprenticeship) - www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

  • If they are a lone parent and they earn over £120 a week to the threshold limit, then they will be able to apply.

  • If a new partner lives at the same registered address then they will need to meet the criteria and will be eligible to apply. 

  • Self-employed parents can apply for the extended entitlement.

  • Parents who have separated will be eligible dependent on meeting the criteria.

  • Parents can be eligible for the extended entitlement funding and not use it or use a number of hours to suit their working patterns.

  • If parents are in sessional work with a variable income, eligibility would be based on the past 3 month's income.

  • If a parent is made redundant, the grace period will apply, please see page 10 and 11 in the statutory guidance

  • If a parent is a student they are not eligible, unless they are also working and earning the amounts identified in the eligibility criteria.

  • When a child spends half their time with each parent eligibility will be looked at on a case by case basis.

Eligibility Checking Process

  • Parents will receive confirmation of their eligibility for the summer term usually within 10 working days, unless additional evidence is required.

  • If parents with English as an Additional Language apply, support can be accessed through the North Yorkshire translation service.

  • Parents will find out if they are eligible via an emailed letter.

  • The North Yorkshire Funding Team will undertake the eligibility checking to ensure parent claims are valid for the summer term 2017 only. This will then be replaced by the online Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) process from the autumn term 2017.

  • It is the parent's responsibility to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria when they apply for the extended entitlement.

  • Parents will be reminded to renew their eligibility via the HMRC website: https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk/par/app/extendedentitlement

  • If a child received 2YO funding they may not be eligible for the extended 30 hour entitlement as the criteria are different.

Headcount:

  • If children eligible for the extended entitlement arrive after headcount date, for example, if they move into North Yorkshire, the arrangements will be the same as if they arrived to take a universal entitlement place (Statutory Guidance A4.37, page 24)

  • If the extended entitlement is taken with more than one provider, both will submit headcount claims and funding will be apportioned as appropriate.

  • Headcount dates have been set for 2017-18. The headcount dates will remain in the current format in order to retain consistency across the whole sector.

  • If a provider misses headcount, follow-up contacts will be made by the finance team to ensure that all are submitted as required.

  • If a sole provider, e.g. childminder is to be away from work for a foreseen period of time, e.g. maternity leave, arrangements will need to be made in advance with parents and the finance team.

Making charges for additional hours and additional services:

The Statutory Guidance states that government funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week free, high quality flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours and additional services.  Section A1.20 to A1.27 sets out the requirements that Local Authorities (LA) should follow to ensure Statutory Guidance are met.

  • Charges for additional service, hours, meals and other consumables must be voluntary for the parents and not a condition of their extended entitlement. These charges must be made clear and transparent to parents.

  • If parents are unable or unwilling to pay for meals and consumables, providers who choose to offer the extended entitlement are responsible for setting their own policy on how to respond with options, including waiving or reducing the cost of meals and snacks or allowing parents to supply their own meals.

  • Charges made must be assigned to additional services and consumables not a charge per hour.

  • Your individual tax payments depends on the levels of income associated with the additional charges if you charge extra for goods/services instead of including them in the hours. It is important to note that all income needs to be recorded in accounts.

  • Statutory guidance states that LA's should ensure that providers do not charge parents 'top up' fees (the difference between a provider's usual fee and the funding they receive from the local authority, to deliver the extended entitlement places) and do not require parents to pay a registration fee as a condition of taking up their child's extended entitlement. If providers charge parents a deposit to secure their child's 30 hour place, the deposit is to be refunded in full to parents within a reasonable time scale.

  • If parents are accessing a 10 x 3 hour sessions model, charges cannot be applied for the lunchtime period except as the statutory guidance states, they can charge for meals.

  • Providers can charge for extras such as trips as long as it is not a condition of a child's extended entitlement place.

  • Settings and schools are able to determine if and how they offer the extended entitlement provision, for example:

  • If you offer 9am - 12pm each morning and no afternoon provision this is the universal 15 hour offer.

  • If you offer 9am - 12pm and charge for afternoons this is the universal 15 hour offer.

  • If you offer an extended morning e.g. 7:30am - 1:30pm including lunch, this represents a 6 hour session and therefore delivers the extended entitlement.

  • If a child who is being funded for an extended entitlement place and is away due to sickness absence, charges cannot be made.

  • More information on charges and lunchtimes can be found at: http://www.childcareworks.co.uk/resources 

Partnership Delivery of the extended entitlement

  • If providers are full for the early roll-out summer term 2017, they can inform parents that they are not able to offer additional 30 hour places at this time. If this is the case, providers are asked to contact the Families Information Service (FIS), so that parents can be signposted to other local providers who have capacity.

  • The minimum offer to families of 3 year olds is for the 15 hour universal entitlement. Providers have the option to provide additional extended entitlement hours if they are able and choose to do so. If additional hours can be offered - there is no minimum which must be offered, these can be any number in response to parents' needs. Providers can choose not to deliver extended entitlement (Statutory Guidance, A2.9 page 15)

  • Two settings can work in partnership, for example to deliver 15 hours each. This can be a partnership with a maximum of 2 sites in a single day, but no session can be longer than 10 hours. There is no minimum session length - not before 6am or after 8pm (Statutory Guidance A2.4, page 14).

  • Providers are not able to stipulate a specific number of hours which parents have to take in any one week.  There is no requirement that funded places must be taken on or delivered on particular days of the week or at particular times of the day (Statutory Guidance A2.7)

  • If providers are only open in term time, it is possible to deliver the extended entitlement in partnership with a holiday club if they are registered on the Ofsted Early Years register and meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and therefore deliver the full EYFS in these hours - as part of a stretched entitlement delivery model.

  • If providers are over-subscribed for extended entitlement places, they should apply the same admissions criteria which would be used to determine the allocation of universal 15 hour places, and then signpost parents to FIS for information about the availability of places in their area if needed.

  • There will be an opportunity for settings to know what is being provided in their local area through the information held by FIS and the childcare search mapping function: http://maps.northyorks.gov.uk/connect/analyst/?mapcfg=Childcare

  • If parents are splitting the extended entitlement funding between providers, providers will need to discuss this with their partner provider and parents to know where and how many hours the parents are taking. Finance processes will also hold this information.

  • If a child attends two settings, reasonable charges can be made to parents for transporting their child between the two shared settings as this is an additional service. Providers will need to address implications of safety/responsibility through risk assessments and the application of safeguarding policies and procedures. This charge cannot be a condition on a parent being able to access a place (Statutory Guidance A2.13 page 15)

  • If a child is attending more than one setting, both providers will need to maintain assessment records - and to share these with parents to support the child's learning and development and progress.  Assessments will also be needed for children who take part of their extended entitlement with a holiday club in line with EYFS requirements.

Funding:

  • If you charge extra for goods/services instead of including them in the hours, your tax payments will depend on the levels of income associated with the additional charges. It is important to note that all income needs to be recorded in accounts.

  • The use of the tools provided at the Early Years Business Planning training will enable breakeven rates and a unit cost per child to be calculated.

  • The breakdown for which funding is allocated is detailed on the funding remittance which is sent electronically each month to providers.

  • Please see the HMRC Tax Free Childcare guidance about reclaiming the money from parents as there are no longer any employer vouchers.

  • Please contact the Early Years Business Support Team for advice about sparsity funding. Childminders are able to make an application for Sparsity Funding.

  • Funding is paid out on the 15th of the month to aid cash flow for providers in order to pay salaries at the end of the month.

  • The grace period will apply in the first instance for children who fall out of eligibility (Statutory Guidance pages 10 and 11)

  • You can charge a different rate for 2 year olds than for 3 and 4 year olds as this is an individual business decision.

  • You will not have to pay back hours if you decide to offer stretched entitlement then parents only decide to bring their child term time, provided the correct hours have been identified on the headcount.

  • If you have missed the deadline for estimates you can still offer the funding in April 2017 as there will be an adjustment made later in the term.

  • You do not have to refund NYCC if a child is away ill

  • The rates for vulnerable 2 year olds are £5.20 and £3.90 for 3 and 4 year olds from September 2017

  • Extended entitlement funding can be split across sessions in the same way as the universal 15 hour entitlement.

  • If a provider has 10 places for 30 hour children and the 11th person says 'I will just take the universal 15 hours and pay for the rest', this is an individual business decision but there needs to be clarity in the provider admissions policy.

  • Please contact the Early Years Business Support Team for advice and guidance on the types of business models

  • Further guidance will be issued for September about banking hours

  • Bank holiday operation is an individual business decision

  • Funding will be effective from the beginning of the summer term, i.e. 24th April 2017.

  • If parents take over the 30 hours extended entitlement, providers can make charges to meet their costs. They do not have to charge the hourly rate based on normal funding, these charges are defined by the early years provider. Invoices and receipts should be clear, transparent and itemised allowing parents to see that they have received their child's complete funded entitlement and understand fees charged for additional hours or services.  (Statutory Guidance A1.27, page 13)

  • An individual business can decide when they are offering funded hours. Charges for any hours taken outside 'normal 30 hours' can be set by the provider but this needs to be consistent for all children.

Schools:

  • Charges for lunch times will depend on the arrangements of how you are offering the extended entitlement. E.g. if places are available 9am - 3pm term time then all of these hours make up the 30 hours for the child, including the lunch time supervision with the only extra possible charge being the cost of the meal. If your provision is open for longer than 30 hours a week e.g. 8:45am - 3:30pm, this represents 6 hours 45 minutes, the 45 minute lunch break would not be part of the 30 hours entitlement and charges could be made, however this cannot be a condition on a parent accessing a 30 hour place and parents can provide a packed lunch.

  • When delivering the extended entitlement across the lunch time period, staffing and ratios and requirement must meet the requirements of the EYFS.

  • Schools will be able to continue to make staggered intake arrangements at the start of each term for new children - ensuring that all children are taking up their full place by headcount, ensuring that arrangements meet the needs of working families who are eligible to the new entitlement and ensure that a family is able to access all the extended entitlement hours across the term.

  • Small schools can make an application for Sparsity Funding - please contact the Early Years Business Support Team for more information

  • Schools would need to explore the external software market as to what software is available to enable schools to expand their flexibility and administer these processes.

  • If a parent defers a child's entrance to school and stays in a PVI setting or school nursery class, they are still eligible and able to claim the extended entitlement (Statutory Guidance, p 43).

  • Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA's) can be included in the staff ratios to deliver the extended entitlement  if they hold the early years qualifications and experience cited in the EYFS framework (EYFS 3.37, page 25)

Delivery Models

  • Children are able to take up their full entitlement to a funded place at times that best support their learning and development and at times which fit with the needs of parents to enable them to work or increase their hours of work if they wish to do so. (Statutory Guidance A2 Flexibility)

  • Flexibility - there is no requirement that funded places must be taken on or delivered on particular days of the week or at particular times of the day (A2.7, page 15) so providers cannot for example, stipulate that it must be a six hour day.

  • If parents have used 20 hours with one setting over 12 weeks, they can use the balance of 10 hours over the holidays with a provider registered to deliver the EYFS. There is to be a separate process for holiday-only providers to claim their funding.

  • If current children take up 30 hours in the summer term and there is no room for new starters after Easter, providers will need to signpost families to FIS and other local providers with capacity.

  • If a child moves provision during the term, the same process will happen as it does now, the funding does not move with the child.

  • Providers can stretch funding up to 51 weeks across the year, or over 38 term-time weeks, or 48 weeks. (Statutory Guidance A2.11)

  • Breakfast clubs can be considered part of the 30 hour offer if this is delivering provision which meets the requirements of the EYFS with appropriately qualified and experienced staff.

  • Providers can offer the full extended entitlement over 38 term-time weeks and do not have to offer a stretched entitlement.

  • Parents are able to access the entitlement at up to 2 sites per day, for example: with a school nursery and a childminder. (Statutory Guidance. A2.4)

  • If providers are caring for children at the weekend as part of the extended entitlement, this needs to be full EYFS provision. If weekend care is in addition to the early education entitlement then the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS must continue to be met.

  • The hours taken do not need to be the same every week in order to meet parents' working patterns - if this is possible for the provider. (Statutory Guidance A2.4 - 2.5)

  • The extended entitlement can be used flexibly, for example: 20 hours per week taken as 2x10 hour sessions plus 20 additional sessions to be taken each year flexibly up to the termly 380 hours limit - including holiday weeks.

  • As the extended entitlement is based on 380 hours per term, providers will need to respond individually to parents requests for additional sessions should they miss bank holidays - if they are able to do so.

SEND:

  • Please apply to the Early Years Funding Team to access the Disability Access Funding (DAF).

  • DAF is available from April 1st 2017 and will be a lump sum of £615 per year.

  • DAF can only be awarded to one provider within a financial year.

  • Element 2 extended entitlement funding for children with SEND will happen automatically for those children where element 2 funding has already been awarded

  • Element 2 extended entitlement funding can be split between providers so long as the universal funding is also split between providers. Element 2 extended entitlement funding will also be apportioned in the same way.

  • Please contact the SEND Team for guidance on the element 2 funding assessment process.

General Queries:

  • If parents provide packed lunches, provider policies on healthy eating will need to be applied.

  • There is no requirement for parents to stretch their entitlement if they do not require it.

  • If parents wish to change the hours they need within those claimed at headcount, for example:  from one day to another, this should be discussed with the provider concerned. If they are asking for additional hours after headcount then these cannot be claimed until the next term.

  • In order to ensure that sufficient places are available for parents who need them, the early years team undertake regular audits and endeavour to predict where place growth or reduction is anticipated, due for example to new housing developments or changes in the birth rate. This information is shared in the annual sufficiency report and through termly updates and provider briefings.

  • If providers take part in the extended entitlement early roll-out and then change their mind for national roll-out in September, this is possible as providers can choose not to deliver funded places (Statutory Guidance A2.9, page 15).

  • If providers or parents require support in accessing information about the extended entitlement - please contact the FIS by phone 01609 536488 in the first instance.

  • The full entitlement to 1140 hours equates to 380 hours each term including the associated holiday weeks. In this summer term 2017, this represents 12.67 weeks i.e. 12 weeks and 3 days.

  • Parents be able to find out which providers are offering the extended entitlement and where childcare places are available through FIS and on-line on the childcare search mapping function: http://maps.northyorks.gov.uk/connect/analyst/?mapcfg=Childcare from the beginning of the summer term, 24th April.

  • Providers can determine to which parents to offer the extended entitlement to during the summer term roll-out and the national roll out, e.g. this could just be to existing parents. Admissions policies must make this clear.

  • The LA is exploring the development of a tool to help providers identify the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) funding bands for individual postcodes

  • Providers can determine their extended entitlement offer, so for example, this could be for 24 hours, but not for 30 due to restrictions with the available use of their building.