Expansion of the Early Years Entitlements
In the Spring Budget announcement in March 2023, the Chancellor announced some large-scale, transformative reforms to childcare with a range of measures designed to support early education and help parents with childcare so they can return to work more easily. By 2027-2028, this will represent the single biggest investment in early education and childcare in England ever.
The early years entitlements aspects of these reforms are being phased in to allow providers time to prepare. The key headlines around the expansion of the existing entitlements are;
- From April 2024, working parents of 2 year olds will be able to access 15 hours childcare
- From September 2024, 15 hours childcare will be extended to all children from the age of 9 months and national wraparound support begins over 2 academic years to enable schools and local areas to set up wraparound childcare provision either side of the school day, so that parents of school-age children can access childcare in their local area from 8am – 6pm, with the expectation that by September 2026, most primary schools will be able to offer their own before and after school care.
- From September 2025, introduction of 30 hours for all working parents of children from 9 months to primary school age.
Checking Eligibility Codes for Working Parents of 2 Year Olds
We understand that providers will want to ensure codes for this cohort of children are verified before offering a funded place. Providers can now complete these eligibility checks themselves directly on the portal.
- The '30 Hour' Tab has been replaced with 'Working Parent Entitlement' - all codes, including historic 30 hour codes will be stored (unless the child has left the setting)
Any codes sent to the Early Years Team ahead of this function going live to providers, were inputted directly on the government ECS checker and won’t show on your provider portal. If the Early Years Team checked codes for you, you will need to update your code checker and add these codes on in order for this to link with the headcount as usual.
- There is a new column, the ‘Earliest Start Date for Working Entitlement Place’, which follows the usual rule of the term after the eligible from date or the term after they are the eligible age and will be a helpful tool. (Please be mindful that for any codes that have an 'eligible to' date of before 1st April 2024, that these children will not be able to access an early years entitlement place in April unless the code is renewed in time,. As per the current processes, the grace period only takes effect when you have claimed the term before for the funding, where parents gain codes early, they may expire before term starts so most providers will already be familiar with the process of ensuring codes are rechecked in time utilising the expiration dashboard).
If you have any issues with checking eligibility codes, please email email@example.com
Estimate Payments for the Summer Term 2024 for Working Parents of 2 Year Olds
Nottingham City Providers are able to receive an additional estimate payment to cover the working parents of 2 year olds during the Summer Term. Please complete this form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday 3rd April 2024.
With this cohort of children not being included in Provider's current Summer Term Estimate Payments, and in response to calls from the sector to support business sustainability during this first term, this one-off estimate payment will be paid in April 2024 and will be for this new cohort of children only. This payment will be 75% of what the funded hours would be for the Summer Term and payment for the actual hours of attendance for these children will be reconciled as part of Provider's normal Balance Payment on 15th July 2024. Please remember, that as per usual procedure, if take up is less than the estimate payment Provider's may be invoiced at the end of the term. These children will then be included in Provider's estimate payments going forward into the Autumn Term 2024, as a seamless inclusion of this expanding entitlement into our existing funding processes.
Our latest set of Frequently Asked Questions can be downloaded here and the Department for Education have also issued additional information on applying for the working parents of 2 year olds entitlement, which is particularly useful in relation to parents with an existing Tax Free Childcare account and securing eligibility codes and an FAQ for Parents on the Working Parent Entitlement for 2 Year Olds.
Information for parents/carers about the expanding entitlements can be found on ASKLiON.
You can also check out https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/upcoming-changes-to-childcare-support/ for the latest information from the government on the changes to this childcare support.
In December 2023, the Early Years Team held sector wide briefings focusing on the Working Parents of 2 Year Olds early years entitlement that will come into force on 1st April 2024. A copy of this briefing can be found here
Previous Presentations and Frequently Asked Questions
The latest Childcare Choices: Partner Communication Toolkit (published January 2024), includes information on existing and expanding early years entitlements and key messages for promoting the early years entitlements to parents.