Early Years and Childcare Local Provider Agreement

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1 Early Years and Childcare Local Provider Agreement The provision of Early Years free entitlement in Wiltshire for two, three and four year olds Wiltshire Council County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge BA14 8JN April 2015 (updated)

2 Early Years Local Provider Agreement Section 1 Foreword 3 Section 2 Introduction to the grant 4 Section 3 Registering for free entitlement 4 Section 4 The free entitlement framework 5 Section 5 Parental complaints 6 Section 6 Provider Complaints 6 Section 7 Quality 6 Section 8 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children 8 Section 9 Wiltshire Council audit checks 8 Section 10 Administrative requirements 9 Section 11 Business planning 9 Section 12 Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) 10 Section 13 Charging policy 10 Section 14 Withdrawal of funding 11 Section 15 Appeals Procedure 12 Section 16 Administrative procedures 13 Appendix 1: Example of an annual provisional funding estimate 28 Appendix 2: Parent declaration form 30 Appendix 3: Example of a headcount form 32 Appendix 4 Provider application/details form 34 Appendix 5: Mid-term payment adjustment form

3 Section 1 - Foreword The national vision for the Early Years Free Entitlement is set out in the Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the delivery of Free Early Entitlement for two, three and four year olds and Securing Sufficient Childcare is that: All eligible children are able to take up high quality early education regardless of their parents ability to pay; benefitting their social, physical and mental development and helping to prepare them for school. Evidence shows that regular, good quality early education has lasting benefits for all children, The universal entitlement to early education for three and four year olds extended to 15 hours per week in September The introduction of the two year old offer in September 2009 for 10 hours per week for disadvantaged children has further expanded this offer. The two year old offer now funds 20% of all low income and disadvantaged children from September 2013 will fund 40% of all low income and disadvantaged two year olds from September 2014 (for up to 15 hours per week). The Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities contains new elements relating to early years provision for two year olds from lower income families and the provision of Information, Advice and Training to childcare providers. This Local Provider Agreement (LPA) builds on the guidance provided and issued by the Department for Education (DfE) and is intended to enable providers and the Local Authority to understand their respective roles and to ensure that the Early Years Free Entitlement delivers the best outcomes for children and their families. 1. Wiltshire Council, the Local Authority, has a statutory duty to secure sufficient nursery education for two, three and four year olds in a diverse range of high quality provision in order to meet parental choice. In order to achieve this, the Council works alongside all childcare providers from the Maintained, Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) sector including preschools, nurseries and childminders. Since September 2013 all childminders in Wiltshire have been eligible to apply for free entitlement funding provided they meet the criteria set out in Section This agreement is designed to explain the financial arrangements for making payments to childcare providers in respect of the free places that they provide. It is also written to present Wiltshire s Local Provider Agreement alongside the Central Government s Early Education Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities for the delivery of free early education for two, three and four year olds and to secure sufficient childcare. 3. Wiltshire Council, through consultation with the sector and the Early Years Reference Group developed and approved its Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF) and its new administrative arrangements for September If you would like to find out who is a member of the Early Years Reference Group, please visit the Wiltshire Council website - 3 -

4 Section 2 - Introduction to the grant This agreement intends to clarify the registration process for all childcare providers wishing to claim funding for the free entitlement; provide guidance around the criteria for eligibility and to outline the procedures for managing the funding system. It is important to Wiltshire Council that you are fully aware of all your responsibilities and the role of Wiltshire Council in supporting you. If you have any queries about the process, our role, your responsibilities or the rights of parents/carers please do not hesitate to contact the free entitlement funding officers on or In Wiltshire the administration of this work is lead by the Free Entitlement Funding officers who can be contacted on or They are based at County Hall in Trowbridge. All childcare providers registered with Ofsted should have a copy of the Department for Education s publication entitled Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities on the delivery of free early entitlement for two, three and four year olds and Securing Sufficient Childcare. The local agreement has been drawn up in partnership with the members of the Early Years Reference Group whose membership includes representatives from each of our early years sectors and officers from the Early Years team. This document contains changes from previous editions and it is therefore important that you read each page carefully. Section 3 - Registering for Free Entitlement Childcare providers wishing to claim Free Entitlement funding must be registered with Wiltshire Council for the delivery of the EYFS, for inclusion on the Directory of Registered Early Years Providers. Each provider, under their own Ofsted registration number, must also complete an online Provider Declaration electronically to confirm they comply with the conditions of funding as outlined in this provider agreement. Each year this guide is communicated to childcare providers on the directory. It is designed to clearly outline the requirements for funding. Childcare providers are responsible for ensuring they have read this document in full and are aware of any changes to the criteria, conditions or administration of the funding. If, after reading this Early Years & Childcare Local Provider Agreement, you wish to register as a childcare provider and offer the Free Entitlement, you will be requested to complete a Provider Application/Details Form (Appendix 4). This will be sent to you electronically. The application (and Provider Declaration online survey) should be completed and submitted together with the following documentary evidence of your establishment s status: - 4 -

5 A copy of your certificate of registration from Ofsted if you are an independent school, you must submit a copy of the letter from the DfE confirming final registration as an independent school. In readiness for delivering the free entitlement funding, all new providers, including childminders, need to attend a two part course run by the local Authority Preparing to deliver the free entitlement in Wiltshire. Childcare providers who subsequently do not adhere to the national guidance or the Local Provider Agreement may be removed from the scheme as outlined in Section 14. Section 4 - The Free Entitlement framework The government has set out a framework for a minimum and maximum national offer for Local Authorities to work to. The minimum that parents can expect in any Local Authority is: five periods of 3 hours or three periods of 5 hours each week. The maximum that a parent can expect is: no period longer than 10 hours no period shorter than 2.5 hours not before 7am or after 7pm the full 15 hours over no fewer than two days a maximum of two providers at any one time (note Wiltshire Council permits three providers for a child with complex needs) The Wiltshire offer is as follows: maximum number of hours in one day is 10 (including meal times) minimum number of hours in one day is 2.5 hours not before 7am or after 7pm the full 15 hours per week over two days a maximum of two providers at any one time: except when a child has complex needs and may require three if a district specialist centre is one of them. In Wiltshire we have adopted the maximum offer and this reflects the diverse nature of the provision available in Wiltshire and the pattern of demand by our parents. Your offer will, ideally, match your opening hours but you are not expected to change your opening hours to meet the maximum offer. In addition, some Wiltshire childcare providers have stretched the offer and parents have been able to access their entitlement of 570 hours over more than 38 weeks. This reduces the amount of hours per week and offers more choice for parents

6 An example of this is: 47 weeks at 12 hours per week (6 hours for week 48) 51 weeks at 11 hours per week (9 hours for week 52) Where a childcare provider is offering less than 38 funded weeks per year, the Local Authority will not apportion the remaining amount at an alternative provider. Childcare providers should set out their offer for parents and consider parental needs each year. The Local Authority can negotiate with individual childcare providers about how they will contribute to the flexible offer. The parental need and likely demand must be balanced against a sustainable business model for providers. The Local Authority is seeking a range of options for parents in Wiltshire from its range of providers. The flexible offer must be free at the point of delivery but the rate charged to parents for the hours outside this are a matter for the provider and parent. These should be clearly set out to parents. Section 5 - Parental complaints Parents who are not able to access their entitlement in the correct way should first approach the provider and ask to discuss their concerns or complaints. If they are not satisfied or believe that the statutory guidance is not being adhered to they should make their complaint to the Free Entitlement Funding officers at Wiltshire Council via the online Parent Complaint form on the Wiltshire Council website or on or All parental complaints/ concerns will be followed up with childcare providers. The Local Authority has a duty to investigate any complaints received from parents and will act upon them and if necessary consider withdrawing funding. Section 6 Provider complaints If a childcare provider wishes to make a complaint about the management and administration of Free Entitlement Funding or a member of Free Entitlement Funding staff, then providers should make their complaint either via the online complaints form on the Wiltshire Council website or on or The Local Authority has a duty to investigate any complaints received from providers and will act upon them. Section 7 Quality In order that all children can access their free entitlement to high quality provision and in-line with statutory guidance Wiltshire Council will: Fund places for two, three and four year olds attending provision that is rated a good or outstanding grade by Ofsted Fund places for three and four year olds attending providers rated a requires improvement, good or outstanding grade by Ofsted. Advice will be available to - 6 -

7 settings judged requires improvement to support them to improve the quality of their provision Not fund places for children attending providers who are judged inadequate by Ofsted. This national statutory guidance took effect from 1 September 2013 for inspections on or after this date Ensure places are entirely free of charge to parents Ensure that places are offered flexibly to meet the needs of parents Make proper use of public funds Ensure that providers meet the needs of disabled children and those with a special educational need in accordance with the guidance detailed in Section 12. Every provider qualifying for Free Entitlement must: Meet and the standards of the EYFS Act in accordance with current statutory guidance and legislation at all times. The Local Authority in Wiltshire will: deliver the Free Entitlement through early years providers who are Ofsted registered or schools which are exempt from registration and which deliver the full EYFS provide support, advice and continual professional development to registered providers use the Ofsted inspection report to inform targeted support Work with its partners, in an open and transparent way, to improve the outcomes of all children. The results of the consultation on Good early year provision for all was published on Friday 2 August There are a number of key elements which the LA will consider in terms of reporting since inspections and re-inspections are taking place on a more regular basis from this autumn and a new Ofsted Inspection Framework was published in September. The first inspections on that basis started taking place from November The key points are: Requires improvement judgment to replace the satisfactory judgment. Setting judged to require improvement will be re-inspected within 12 months. Non-domestic providers will be given a maximum of two years to get to good, at which point they are likely to be judged inadequate. There will be more concentration on quality of teaching. The period before re-inspection for inadequate providers will be shortened to maximum of six months; if at this stage the provider has failed to make sufficient improvement, Ofsted will consider taking steps to cancel the registration. As a result of the above providers should, as part of this agreement, inform Wiltshire Council early years at When an Ofsted inspection or re-inspection is taking place

8 When an Ofsted grading of requires improvement is received. Where a complaint has been made about the setting to Ofsted. Section 8 - Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children Safeguarding is everyone s responsibility and Wiltshire recognises the importance of a professional approach to this by all of our childcare providers and their staff teams. There are legal requirements in this area of work and to comply with these, providers must ensure that: All childcare providers must work in accordance with the Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board safeguarding policies and procedures All childcare providers must have safeguarding policies and procedures in place that are followed by all practitioners. All childcare providers must have a named designated safeguarding person in place, who has received the appropriate level of training. The childminder is this person in their own setting. All childcare practitioners must receive appropriate up-to-date safeguarding training in order to meet their safeguarding duties. All childcare providers must complete and return the annual safeguarding audit within the timescale required. All childcare providers must meet the mandatory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and OFSTED. Section 9 - Wiltshire Council audit checks Wiltshire Council, the Childcare Officers and Free Entitlement Funding officers will carry out annual sampled checks or audits on all registered childcare providers, to ensure compliance with the requirements of Free Entitlement funding. A member of the team may also carry out a check as a result of a complaint or concern. Additionally, the audits are also designed to give childcare providers the opportunity to discuss any matters arising, to clarify any points regarding their funding and to rectify any anticipated problems. They provide an opportunity for the childcare provider and the Local Authority to have a face-to-face discussion and this has been found to be helpful as well as ensuring the correct use of public funds. As part of the audit check the childcare provider must make available records (including those referred to in Sections 11 and 16) to Wiltshire Council for the purpose of carrying out an audit on the use of the funding. Each childcare provider is required to certify that they meet the criteria and are adhering to the conditions and requirements of funding on each funding period s headcount form. This procedure is explained more fully in Section

9 Section 10 - Administrative requirements We are required to collect information from providers for other government and local purposes. As a condition of receiving the grant childcare providers must: provide details of their provision for parents to the Early Years team when requested provide details of the qualifications of their staff to the Local Authority on request provide details of their provision for entry on the Wiltshire Council online Childcare Directory complete the statutory early years census annually and the headcount exercise twice a year provide evidence that they are offering the part-time place free at the point of delivery maintain a business address and check their s each weekday. If your details change in any way you are obliged to inform Ofsted as a condition of your registration. It is also important that you notify Wiltshire Council s Free Entitlement Funding officers as a condition of your agreement with us to receive Free Entitlement. You should complete a Change of Details Form on which you should clearly state the details of the change or amendment and return it to: Free Entitlement Funding Early Years & Childcare Commissioning, Performance & School Effectiveness Wiltshire Council Bythesea Road Trowbridge BA14 8JN If your provision changes ownership, the new owner will be required to complete a new application and Provider Declaration online survey. Please contact us at the address above. Remember that any changes to the conditions of your registration, or any significant changes to your service should be notified to Ofsted in the first instance. Section 11 - Business planning The Local Authority expects that childcare providers will conduct their businesses in a proper and responsible way and will verify that this is happening through contact with the childcare team and the auditing process. We will challenge where we find the business practice is poor and childcare providers will be expected to improve. Alongside this we will offer advice, support and guidance

10 Childcare providers must: comply with legislation including the auditing and submission of accounts, the passing of information to the Charities Commission (where appropriate) and the regular submission of information to bodies such as Companies House provide financial information to the Local Authority for the purposes of auditing to ensure the correct use of public funds. run their business in a legal and professional way. follow the conditions of capital and revenue grants that are offered and comply with monitoring arrangements for those grants. Section 12 - Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability(SEND) Wiltshire promotes an inclusive approach to its work; the new 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) team will support children, young people and their families and their childcare providers to effectively meet the individual needs of children with SEND. We work with our childcare providers to provide an inclusive environment and enable access to the Free Entitlement and the EYFS. Childcare providers must: have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DFES, 2001) and the code that becomes statute as part of the Children and Families Act Identify a provision based named SEN coordinator. The childcare provider s SEN coordinator (SENCO) must have up- to- date knowledge and access regular professional development opportunities; including those provided locally by the Local Authority. have an SEN policy which is part of a wider inclusion policy. Adhere to the Equalities Act 2010 Section 13 - Charging policy The Free Entitlement is a free, part-time place for each eligible child and the Local Authority must ensure that it has sufficient free part-time places in its area. In addition, the National Statutory Guidance states that the Local Authority should ensure that parents can clearly see, from the information they receive from their provider, that they have received their child s full 15 hours entitlement completely free. It also states that providers who charge for any goods or services, for example meals, optional extras or additional hours outside of the free entitlement do not do so as a condition of children accessing their place

11 The Wiltshire Local Provider Agreement requires the above and that: the offer must be free at the point of delivery. This includes at the point of registration; parents must not be required to take-up additional hours each week as part of the offer; parents must not be asked to pay up-front by providers and be refunded when the childcare provider receives the funding from the Local Authority; providers must not charge top-up fees (the difference between the hourly rate paid by the Local Authority and the rate charged by the childcare provider for additional hours); additional services must be optional, itemised on invoices and must not be charged to parents as an enhanced hourly rate; invoices and bills must make clear the charging policy of the provision and the Free Entitlement element within that. Parents should be able to clearly identify the charges and should be encouraged to discuss their concerns about invoices with providers in the first instance; childcare providers can make a reasonable charge for meals and snacks but such a payment must not be a barrier to attendance and in some circumstances a parent may wish to send, for example, a packed lunch. A reasonable charge for a lunch is around the cost of a maintained school meal; for 2 year olds who are claiming Free Entitlement hours only, no additional charges can be made at all e.g. for snacks, meals, additional activities. The Local Authority has a duty to investigate any complaints received from parents concerning charging discrepancies. Parents are encouraged to first discuss their concerns with the provider and then to make contact with the free entitlement team either by , telephone or via the website if they are not satisfied. In most cases providers make substantial effort to not disadvantage children but some parents find that this is not always the case. Section 14 - Withdrawal of funding The Local Authority will work in partnership with childcare providers to ensure quality of provision and a sufficient number of places. In certain circumstances, Wiltshire Council will withdraw funding from providers and these are outlined below. 1. Childcare providers must comply with the requirements of the national guidance and the Early Years & Childcare Local Provider Agreement as well as working within all other legal requirements in their setting. The Local Authority reserves the right to withdraw funding from a childcare provider and remove them from the Wiltshire Directory of Registered Early Years Providers for non compliance of any statutory requirement. 2. In the event that Ofsted judge the provision as inadequate the Local Authority will follow the procedure set out in the National Statutory Guidance by securing alternative provision and withdraw funding for children who are already receiving their funded entitlement at a provider on receipt of official Ofsted notification, and as soon as is practical. Funding will be restored when Ofsted has re-inspected and judged the provision as requires improvement or above, and where the childcare provider ha - s 1 r 1 e - -registered for entry onto the Wiltshire

12 Directory of Registered Early Years Providers. 3. In cases of gross misconduct e.g. Ofsted enforcement action, fraud or financial irregularity, where children are unsafe or not safeguarded effectively. Ofsted will be informed if a provider has had the funding withdrawn. The childcare provider will have the opportunity to make written representations prior to the final decision for withdrawal of funding being made. The right to appeal is set out in Section 15 below. Section 15 - Appeals procedure The Local Authority has established a clear appeals procedure for providers where either: a decision has been made to suspend or withdraw funding from a provider; or a decision has been made to remove a provider from the Wiltshire Directory of Early Years Providers; or a decision has been made to not enter an applicant onto the Wiltshire Directory of Early Years Providers 1. If a childcare provider wishes to appeal any decisions, they must write to the Local Authority within two weeks (14 days) of the notice being given, detailing the grounds for objection with relevant evidence in support. Following the receipt of the grounds for objection under paragraph 1 above, the Local Authority will: 2. acknowledge the letter and give the childcare provider a date, time and location for an appeal hearing. The appeal panel will meet within a month of the evidence having been received by the Local Authority. 3. The Local Authority will prepare a written report for the appeal panel. This report, along with the childcare provider s evidence will be sent to the panel and the childcare provider at least one week before the date of the hearing. 4. The appeal will be heard by a panel of three council members. The panel members will have had no prior involvement in the matter under appeal. One of the panel members will act as chair. There will also be an independent clerk present to record the proceedings. A member of staff from the provision may attend the hearing in order to put the childcare provider s case to the panel. He/she may also bring another person with them e.g. a friend, relative, business colleague to help or to put the provider s case on its behalf. In addition, there will be a maximum of two representatives from the Local Authority to put the Local Authority s case to the panel. 5. The hearing will be as informal as possible and the procedure will be as follows: introductions the Local Authority will be invited to explain the reasons behind its decision

13 the childcare provider may question the Local Authority s representatives after they have spoken the childcare provider will be invited to explain its grounds of appeal against the Local Authority s decision the Local Authority may question the childcare provider after its representatives have spoken the panel may ask questions at any point the Local Authority will then be invited to sum up the reasons behind its decision the childcare provider will then be invited to sum up its grounds of appeal both the childcare provider and Local Authority representatives will then leave together while the panel makes its decision the chair will explain to both the childcare provider and Local Authority representatives that they will hear from the panel in writing within one week. 6. The panel s decision will be final. At any stage the childcare provider, if unhappy with the way in which the council has dealt with its appeal, can ask the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) to examine the proceedings. The LGO is an independent person who investigates allegations of maladministration causing injustice to the person who has complained. The Ombudsman who deals with Wiltshire Council can be contacted at: The Oaks No 2 Westwood Way Westwood Business Park Coventry CV4 8JB Telephone: / Fax: The LGO has a leaflet called Complained to the council but still not happy? A copy of this leaflet can be obtained by telephoning or writing to the address above, or it can be downloaded from the LGO s web site at: Enquiries about the LGO s service can be obtained by telephoning their advice line on Section 16 - Administrative procedures This section gives information to childcare providers on how the Free Entitlement payment mechanism works and where to access further information and contact details. It is divided into: Section A Delivering the Free Entitlement page Section B Eligibility of childcare providers page 16 Section C Payment mechanisms page Section D Guidance notes on completing the headcount page Section E Summary of important dates page 26 Section F Useful addresses and telephone numbers page

14 A. Delivering the Free Entitlement Children eligible for Free Entitlement funding (3 and 4 year olds) To help you in determining which children you should be claiming for each funding period, you may find the following chart helpful: Date of birth Summer funded period 2015 (terms 5+6) Autumn funded period 2015 (terms 1+2) Spring funded period 2016 (terms 3+4) compulsory school age compulsory school age compulsory school age too young too young too young A child is eligible to receive funding from the start of the funded period following their third birthday up to and including the funded period in which they turn five. It is the childcare provider s responsibility to check that children are eligible for funding. You should ask to see their birth certificate prior to starting with you. Children eligible for Free Entitlement funding (2 year olds) Not all 2 year olds are eligible to access Free Entitlement funding. It is the provider s responsibility to check that a 2 year old child has been approved to receive funding. You must check that the parent is in receipt of a Wiltshire Council approval letter indicating the child s application number. Where a child is eligible for 2 year old funding, the funding will start from the beginning of the term following their second birthday. From 1 September 2014, the law is changing to allow more children to benefit from free childcare. In Wiltshire, we are bringing forward these changes to 1 April Parents who are in receipt of one of the following will be eligible: Income support; Income Based Job Seekers Allowance; Income related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA);

15 Support under part 6 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999; The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit; Child Tax Credit and have an annual household income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs that does not exceed 16, year old children are also eligible if: they have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan; they attract Disability Living Allowance; they are currently a Looked After child, for example in Foster Care; they have left Local Authority care through Special Guardianship, Adoption ore Residence Order. Children will be eligible in the funding period following their second birthday. Date of birth Summer funded period 2014 (terms 5+6) Autumn funded period 2014 (terms 1+2) Spring funded period 2015 (terms 3+4) and 4 year old free entitlement 3 and 4 year old free entitlement and 4 year old free entitlement too young too young too young Details for children who do not reside in Wiltshire Funding is allocated on the basis of where the child is educated, rather than where they live. This means that you should claim for all eligible children attending your setting whether they live in or outside Wiltshire. Other eligibility considerations Childcare providers must ensure that each parent/guardian of an eligible child has completed a Parent Declaration form in order to claim funding (Appendix 2). The form covers one financial year and the funded hours section needs to be completed for each funding period. The form is available on the Wiltshire Council website for providers to download when required. Childcare providers will be expected to make reasonable checks that children being funded through the Wiltshire scheme are not being funded for more than the permitted maximum of 15 hours per week of flexible Free Entitlement. This also includes checking whether hours are being claimed at childcare providers in neighbouring authorities

16 Once a child starts in reception class at school all funding will go to the school. Please check with children s parents the date when their child will start school and that it is at the start of a new funding period so that it is clear where funding will be paid. Any hours a child attends at your provision in addition to this will be paid for by the parents. Maintained nurseries on school sites and district specialist centres share the funding with other childcare providers and do not take priority over funding as parents are entitled to choose where to access their funding. For example, a child may take 10 hours at a maintained nursery and five hours with a group provider or accredited childminder. B. Eligibility of childcare providers Each childcare provider is allocated by the Local Authority a Unique Reference Number (URN). Maintained nurseries will use their DfE number. This number is important in the process of identifying providers on the databases used to calculate the Free Entitlement funding and to co-ordinate training opportunities. For childcare providers included on the Wiltshire Directory of Childcare Providers, it is a requirement that they complete the online Provider Declaration and agree to adhere to the Early Years & Childcare Local Provider Agreement. Childcare providers will be required to do this on an annual basis. This assumes that the childcare providers have read and agree to the new Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities which came into effect on 1 September This commitment to the local conditions and the national code of practice is also confirmed each time a childcare provider wishes to claim by completing a certification on the reverse of the headcount form. Childcare providers should read the Early Years & Childcare Local Provider Agreement carefully each year before completing the online Provider Declaration. C. Payment mechanisms How much? The introduction of the single funding formula has resulted in three distinct funding streams based on setting type; one for maintained nurseries, one for PVI providers and one for childminders. The basic hourly rates for the different provider types are shown in the table below. 3 & 4 year old funding Childcare Provider type 2015/ 2016 hourly rate (1 April to 31 August 2015) 2015/ 2016 hourly rate (1 September to 31 March 2016) Childminder Maintained Private/ Voluntary/ Independent

17 2 year old funding Childcare Provider Type 2015/2016 Hourly Rate All childcare providers 4.97 How will my annual budget be calculated? Before the beginning of each financial year, you will receive a provisional funding estimate (Appendix 2) detailing how much Free Entitlement funding you will receive for that year. This will broadly reflect anticipated participation of children and will enable us to estimate the take up of Free Entitlement in your provision. In order to calculate anticipated participation, the Local Authority has used your actual take up figures from the autumn funded period of the previous calendar year. However, if you expect your numbers to differ from those anticipated numbers by more or less than 20% during the following year you will need to inform us no later than the end of February preceding the financial year to ensure a more accurate reflection of your situation is taken into account, and a revised funding estimate is produced. You are also given the opportunity to advise us of a 20% change in predicted total 3 and 4 year old hours before the beginning of a funded period via an online Significant Change survey which is ed to providers. Providers who have eligible 2 year olds are able to inform us at any time of any change in these hours. The amount of funding you receive will depend upon the basic hourly rate which applies to your provision and the supplements you attract. The estimated amount you will receive will be updated three times each year following the annual census and headcounts. The autumn funded period headcount data will be used to estimate the total funding payment for the year. The autumn funded period figure will be adjusted to reflect the higher number of children in the spring and summer funded periods as follows: Autumn (1 September December 31): number of hours provided in September 2013 x 14 weeks plus Spring (1 January - March 31): September hours/14 weeks x 1.25 x 11 weeks (to estimate spring funded period) plus Summer (1 April - August 31): September hours/14 weeks x 1.43 x 13 weeks (to estimate summer funded period) This will give the estimated number of hours for the year ahead x the relevant hourly rate plus any supplements = estimated total funding for the financial year. The weightings of 1.25 and 1.43 have been obtained from an analysis of the past five years funding patterns. Additional supplements Additional funding (for 3 and 4 year olds only) is also available to some childcare

18 providers for deprivation and rurality/sustainability. If your provision attracts funding for one or both of these additional factors, it will be detailed on your provisional funding estimate (appendix 1). The value of this funding will be calculated annually from the autumn funded period headcount data and applied to the whole of the following financial year. The deprivation supplement is intended to support children to have equal chances of achieving success irrespective of their family circumstances or where they live. Each childcare provider will receive a supplement for the number of hours delivered to qualifying children. Childcare providers will not be informed which children have attracted this funding. The rurality/sustainability supplement is intended to enable small childcare providers, where there is no alternative provision, to retain a degree of stability. Where applicable, a childcare provider s hourly rate will be increased by an amount per hour where in the previous financial year they had fewer than nine children in attendance and there was no other childcare provider within a two mile radius. Please note that this supplement is not available to childminders as their hourly rate already reflects the small size of their provision. Additional funding (for 3 and 4 year olds) via Early Years Pupil Premium is also available to some childcare providers. Details of child eligibility and how you can claim Early Years Pupil Premium funding is detailed in Section D. How and when will I be paid? The total funding i.e. basic hourly rate plus supplements will be paid to childcare providers in twelve equal monthly instalments, via the BACS system, directly into the childcare provider s bank/building society account. Please note that payments cannot be made by cheque. Supplements will be paid with each monthly instalment but will not be adjusted on an ongoing basis during the year because they are calculated with reference to attendance in the previous year. Rurality data collected via the online Significant Change survey will, where childcare providers are eligible, be adjusted from the start of the relevant funded period. The payment dates are listed on your annual provisional funding estimate (2nd page of Appendix 1). If you wish to change your bank details, you will need to your new details to the Free Entitlement Funding officers giving at least one month s notice. How will payments be adjusted to match actual participation? There are three funding periods each year, similar to the old school terms. Within each funding period, there is a headcount week. Each childcare provider will receive a headcount form to complete and sign (an example is set out in Appendix 3). The provider is required to complete a headcount form to ensure the payments are adjusted to match actual participation and to ensure the provider continues to meet its requirements under the Early Years and Childcare Local Provider Agreement. For each child listed on the headcount form, you must ensure that each parent/ guardian has completed a Parent Declaration form (Appendix 2), and has completed

19 the funded hours section for that funding period. The Parent Declaration forms will help you to complete the headcount form, and are to be kept on site by providers for 7 years. When the completed and certified headcount forms are returned, the Local Authority will calculate the total number of hours being claimed for each childcare provider for the funding period and will issue a statement asking you to confirm that the children and hours are correct. Any adjustment to funding will be paid or recovered over the remaining months of the financial year (see section below Payment of arrears/recovery of overpayments). A new provisional funding estimate will be issued to reflect these adjustments. Details of the funding periods, weeks and hours are summarised below: Summer 2015 (terms 5+6) Autumn 2015 (terms 1+2) Spring 2016 (terms 3+4) Funded dates 1 April 31 August 1 September 31December 1 January 31 March Maximum number of funded weeks Maximum number of funded hours weeks weeks weeks 195 hours 210 hours 165 hours Funding will be paid in accordance with Section 4 The Free Entitlement Framework and Section 13 Charging policy. Parents should pay for any additional hours over and above the 15 free entitlement hours. When invoicing parents, it must be made clear to them that the core funded hours are completely free at the point of delivery. This means that fees that would normally be charged at your provision for these hours are completely removed from the parent s invoice. A charge cannot be made for administration, or for the difference between the funding a provider receives from the council and their normal rates (see Section 13). The childcare officer has sample invoices should you require assistance with this. Parents can be asked to pay a reasonable charge for lunch or other meals (see Section 13). Childcare providers will charge their normal hourly rate for additional hours outside the offer. Additional services must not be a condition of the offer and parents must be able to access their offer free at the point of delivery. The Local Authority will follow up any complaints received from parents about the charging of fees or failure to pass on the benefit of the Free Entitlement funding and may consider it to be a breach of conditions

20 Payment of arrears/ Recovery of overpayments In the event the Local Authority needs to make a payment of arrears or where the provider needs to return an overpayment, arrears to be paid/ recovered will be spread equally over the remaining months of the financial year. What to do if a child is absent at the time of the headcount For example, if they are ill or on holiday, the child s information is still to be included on the headcount form. This procedure is only to be adopted where the child is expected to return to the setting. The information about each child included in the headcount form will be entered onto a council database. The Local Authority will check that no child is receiving more than 15 hours of free early years education per week. This will be done by cross-checking with information received from all other providers of early years education, including data provided by primary, infants and special schools about their pupils within Wiltshire and neighbouring authorities. Childcare providers must undertake to repay on demand any funding where a payment is made to the provider which did not meet the requirements under this agreement or where they are made in error. If it is discovered that a parent, using more than one childcare provider, has claimed more than 15 hours, funding for each childcare provider will be set at zero until the provisions involved have contacted the parent to find out how they wish the available grant to be split. Childcare providers should be aware that the information about each child, the details of claims submitted for payment of funding, and the actual payments made, may be the subject of audit checks to ensure the validity of the expenditure of public funds. A sample of funding claims will be checked each funding period, and childcare providers should therefore ensure that supporting documentary evidence is retained. In line with current government guidelines, childcare providers are advised to retain all supporting documentary evidence for funded children for the present financial year and the year before that. What happens if children move between childcare providers or change the number of sessions/hours attended during the funded period? The use of parental contracts and /or parent declaration forms between a childcare provider and parents is strongly recommended. They should be binding on both parties for a whole funded period, i.e. 1 January 31 March. The contract should set out a pattern of provision for a child that both parties agree to. Childcare providers should make it clear that once a contract has been signed the parent is expected to sign the headcount form and stay with that childcare provider for the funding period. If, in the unlikely event a parent moves a child before headcount day, the funding will be paid to the childcare provider the child is attending at the time of the headcount week. The contract should allow a cooling off period of up to three weeks for both

21 parties, during which time any changes can be made. After this period, the Local Authority would not expect any movements between childcare providers. There are only five valid reasons for changing childcare providers: moving house a change in the child s primary carer where a sibling moves school and the child is able to attend a nearby setting where loss of employment affects the childcare place e.g. if a child s provision was taken up near a parents employment rather than their home health and safety issues e.g. child protection/domestic violence when a child requires a place at a District Specialist Centre. Mid-term payment adjustments (Appendix 5) Childcare providers can now claim for children who started after the headcount week and for others who may have been missed off the headcount form, as well as refunding payment made for children who left earlier than expected. These arrangements fall within the terms of the Local Agreement and the information submitted will be included as part of the Free Entitlement Funding audit process. Late starters Childcare providers can claim for a child who starts after the headcount week but before the end of a funded period. For example: If a child starts on 3 June and attends for 15 hours per week until 22 July when the childcare provider closes for the summer holidays, you can claim for the 7 whole weeks = 105 hours. We will pay only whole weeks of funding as per the normal headcount. At the end of each funding period, a link to the Mid-term Payment Adjustment form (Appendix 5) will be ed to you on which you need to let us know about these children. You need to complete the section Late starters/ Early Leavers (top section of the form) and send it to the Free Entitlement officers by the end of the first week in the following funding period. Late applications will not be processed. Your claim will be processed with the usual checks taking place regarding correct and complete information, overclaims etc, and you will be paid in a separate lump sum by the end of the following period for which you are claiming, i.e. if you are claiming for a child who started late in Summer 2015, then funding will be paid via BACS by the end of Autumn If the parent of a late starter child thinks they could be eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium, then please submit a copy of the child s Parent Declaration form with the Early Years Pupil Premium section completed. We will carry out an eligibility check and inform you of the outcome. Early leavers Providing the opportunity for you to claim for children who start after the headcount date means that we must also make adjustments for children who you have claimed for on your headcount form, but are leaving earlier than expected. For example: if you claim 195 hours (13 weeks x 15 hours) for a child who was attending during the Summer 2015 headcount week (2 8 May) and this child then

22 leaves the childcare provider on 3 June, you will need to repay 6 weeks of funding = 90 hours. Only whole weeks of funding will be reclaimed. You will use the same Mid-term Payment Adjustment form (Appendix 5) as above. This form must be completed at the end of each funded period, as necessary, and returned to the Free Entitlement officers by the end of the first week in the following funded period. Your early leaver information will be processed, and funding will be reclaimed (in a separate lump sum) by the end of the following funded period for which you were paid, i.e. if you have an early leaver in Summer 2015, then funding will be reclaimed by the end of Autumn If an early leaver has attracted Early Years Pupil Premium for an early years provider, a pro rata amount of funding will be calculated and recovered. What happens if a childcare provider shuts for staff training and public holidays? Where the childcare provider closes for training, the Free Entitlement should be offered at an alternative time in compensation within the same funding period. However, there is no obligation to offer alternative provision due to public holiday closure. Late amendments Childcare providers can now get funding for children they put on their headcount form but missed the deadline for returning their Statement of Grant amendment paperwork. Whilst we ask childcare providers to make every effort to meet each of the Statement of Grant amendment deadlines set out in the Local Provider Agreement, we appreciate that sometimes it is difficult to get information to the Free Entitlement Funding officers by the set deadlines due to families being on holiday etc. You can send in amendment paperwork (Appendix 5 - bottom section of form) for children who have been shown with 0 agreed hours, or children we have been unable to input due to a missing date of birth, up to the end of the first week of the following funded period. Late applications will not be processed. Payments will be made following the same process and timescale as for Late Starters above. Missed children Childcare providers can now claim funding for children they forgot to put on their headcount form. You can access funding for the number of weeks and hours they were attending your setting during that funding period (within the maximum limits for each funded period). If you remember a child before the Statement of Grant amendment deadline, then please contact one of the Free Entitlement Funding officers, and we will you a blank headcount form. You will need to complete and return this (on paper only) by the current funding period s Statement of Grant amendment deadline in order for us to include the child and their funding with the rest of your current headcount. If you remember a child after the Statement of Grant deadline, then you will need to use the same Mid-term Payment Adjustment form (Appendix 5) as above to claim funding. You will need to complete the section Late Amendments (bottom section of the form). This form must be completed at the end of the current funded

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