Nursery Grants & Free Places
The grant system can be quite daunting and very confusing to parents dealing with it for the first time.
We try to take all the legwork out of it for you; this information is aimed at explaining the system, how it changes from area to area and how we administer it on your behalf.
Each Local Authority (LEA’S) has an amount of money allocated for providing free places. This amount of money can vary depending on the social needs of the area.
When are they available?
Your child will be eligible for grant funding the term after their third birthday. As schools (unlike nurseries) have long holidays the funding is only available for 38 weeks of the year. This is broken down into three terms.
Terms are classed in the following date ranges and determine what term your child was born in.
If your child is born between:
1st January – 31st March = Spring Term
1st April – 31st August = Summer Term
1st September – 31st December = Autumn Term
Although the grant is given for 38 weeks over three terms, these may not match the same weeks as some schools.
Where can you use grant funding?
You can choose to take your free hours where ever you like. A school can not refuse your child entry in the term after your child turns five years old if you have chosen not to take you free hours with them. The only stipulation that the Government put on the administration of the free places is that sites must be approved by OFSTED, and the hours are used over three days.
If you choose to split the education of your child between the nursery and your local school, then the school will automatically receive the funding and the nursery will get any hours that are left over.
What happens when there is no grant?
If you would like your child to still attend during a week when there is no funding you are welcome to do so, however this will be charged at our normal hourly rate.(See our fees for this) If you do not wish to attend the nursery when there is no funding please let us know when filling out your grant form.
Administering the free places
Before the beginning of each term we will ask you to let us know on a simple form what days you would like to attend and at what time during funded weeks and non funded weeks. Also what days and times you use your free hours at an other nursery if applicable, so we don’t apply for more funding than we are entitled to.
At the beginning of each term we will advise the LEA’s of the number of free sessions you wish to claim.
If you currently only use the nursery for less than 15 hours a week over three days then you are missing out on free hours. If it is your day off why not use the hours and have some time to yourself safe in the knowledge that your child is learning through play.
You need to advise the office if you are using some or all of your free hours at a local school and using the nursery on other days.
Remember staff ratios in Nursery are 1:8 compared with 1:13 in most local schools.
For further information please either Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively call 0114 269 3929 and ask for Tina, Lisa or Tara