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Cardiff Council

www.cardiff.gov.uk

Government-funded childcare

​​​The way parents apply for the Childcare Offer for Wales is changing. If your child was born between 1 September 2019 to 31 December 2019 you will need to apply on Childcare for Wales Campaign​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new windowand applications will open on the 7 November 2022.
​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Childcare Offer for 3 and 4 year olds

Childcare logo​ 

Please ensure you read all the information included below before you apply. ​


The Childcare Offer will provide all eligible parents living in Cardiff with a combined 30 hours of government-funded childcare and Foundation Learning Provision for 3 and 4 year olds for up to 48 weeks per year.​


The 48 weeks is made-up of 39 weeks of combined education and childcare during school term-time and 9 weeks of ‘holiday’ provision outside of school terms.​​​


39 weeks of the year combined ed​ucation and childcare during term-time
Cardiff Foundation Learning Provision (Early Education)
12.5 hours
Cardiff Childcare Offer

17.5 hours


​= 30 hours per week

9 weeks of ‘holiday’ provision outside of school ter​ms (3 weeks per term child is eligible)​
Cardiff  Childcare Offer
30 hours per week

​​​

Parents are not required to access their early education entitlement in order to access the childcare element of the Offer. However, their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not. Find out how to apply for an Early Education Foundation Phase Nursery place.

Holiday provision will be allocated at the beginning of each term the child is eligible for the Offer.  

Children will be allocated 3 weeks of holiday provision per term up to 9 weeks holiday provision in every 12 months pro-rated for their term of entitlement.

9 weeks pro-rata holiday entitlement applies as follows:

  • If a parent was eligible for 1 term - 3 weeks holiday provision;
  • If a parent was eligible for 2 terms - 6 weeks holiday provision;
  • If a parent was eligible for 3 terms - 9 weeks holiday provision.


Children born in autumn or spring terms may be eligible to receive the Offer for more than one year. If your entitlement goes into a second academic year it is treated as one period of overall entitlement so:

  • 4 terms – 12 weeks
  • 5 terms – 15 weeks


Unused weeks from each term can be rolled into the next term including into a new academic year.

Holiday weeks cannot be used before they have been accrued.

Eligible Children


To check eligibility for the Childcare Offer and when you can apply, please see the table below.

The way parents apply for the Childcare Offer for Wales is changing. If your child was born on or after the 1st September 2019 you will need to apply on the gov.wales website. For further information and to apply visit the Government website​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window.


Date of Birth​​Eligible from​
​Eligible to
Applications Open

1 September 2018 to 31 March 2019

31 August 2023
Open

1 April 2019 to 31 August 2019

5 September 2022
31 August 2023
Open
​1 September 2019 to 31 December 2019
​9 January 2023
31 August 2024​​7 November 2022

​1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020
​17 April 2023
​31 August 2024
​20 Fe​bruary 2023

If you are eligible now but do not wish to access the Childcare Offer funding until January 2023 you will need to visit Childcare for Wales Campaign​ ​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window to apply.


Please do not apply before the application opening date as stated in the above table. Any applications received before the application opening date will be rejected and a new application will have to be submitted.

If your application has not been received and processed by the ‘eligible from’ date above, your funding will not be back-dated.



What if my child is offered a full time education place before the September after they turn 4?

In cases where children are offered a full time education place before the September after they turn 4 they will no longer be eligible to receive the Childcare Offer during term-time. However, these children will remain eligible for their holiday provision up until the September after their 4th birthday. 


Eligible Parents









Parents are eligible for the Childcare Offer for Wales if one of the following apply:

  • ​They are employed and/or self-employed and earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) but not more than £100,000 (per parent) per tax year..
    Where one or both parents are newly self-employed and have not yet met the minimum income threshold an initial start-up period will be allowed of up to 12 months before the parent needs to evidence that they are earning the equivalent of 16 hours at NMW per week.
  •  They are enrolled on a Further Education course or a Higher Education undergraduate or postgraduate course that is at least 10 weeks in length. This includes courses delivered via distance learning.

All adults with parental responsibility in the household (both parents/co-habiting couples in a two parent family or the sole parent in a lone parent family) must meet one of the eligibility criteria above.

If you are unsure whether you meet the eligibility criteria please contact the Childcare Offer team on cardiffchildcareoffer@cardiff.gov.uk​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window


Exceptions to eligibility



Parents will still be eligible for the Childcare Offer if one of the circumstances below applies;

  • ​one parent is employed or in education or training and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities. This is based on specific benefits received for caring;
  • both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave or unpaid parental leave;
  • both parents are in education or training but one or both parents have formally suspended their studies for reasons relating to maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave or parental leave
  • one parent is employed and one parent is in education or training but the working parent is temporarily away from the workplace on statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave or unpaid parental leave and/or the parent in education or training has formally suspended their studies for reasons relating to maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave or parental leave
  • both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay
  • both parents are in education or training but one or both parents have formally suspended their studies due to long term sickness
  • one parent is employed and one parent is in education or training but the working parent is temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay and/or the parent in education or training has formally suspended their studies due to long term sickness;
  • one parent is employed or in education or training and one parent is disabled or incapacitated. 



This is based on the parent being in receipt of, or having an underlying entitlement to, one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • Incapacity benefit;
  • Carers allowance;
  • Severe disablement allowance;
  • Long term incapacity benefit; 
  • Employment and support allowance (ESA);
  • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work.
  • Universal Credit where the individual has been assessed as having limited capability for work.


Families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits (or has an underlying entitlement to the above benefits), or the sole parent in a single parent family, will not be able to access the Childcare Offer.

Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the Offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria).

Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the Offer.



Please Note: Eligibility cannot be confirmed until a fully completed application form has been received and processed by the Childcare Offer team and you have received a confirmation email.​

Parents can choose any childcare provider that are signed up to the Childcare Offer and are registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).


Before completing the application form, parents are encouraged to ensure that their chosen childcare provider has ‘Childcare Offer’ spaces available. You will be asked to confirm which provider you are going to use when you apply.


To find out if your chosen provider is currently signed up to provide the Childcare Offer please contact the Childcare Offer team on 02920 351713 or check Dewis Cymru​. ​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

Please Note: Making an application does not guarantee a childcare place

Will I have to pay for anything?

The Childcare Offer funds a maximum of 30 hours of early education and childcare per week. The funding from the government is for the education and care the professionals within the setting provide. It does not include food, transport or off-site activities that incur an extra charge and providers will be able to charge you for these.

Reminder: The Childcare Offer funds a maximum of 48 out of 52 weeks of the year and parents will be liable for any childcare used during the unpaid weeks. These will always be school holiday weeks



Can I use more than one childcare provider?

Yes, you can use up to TWO registered childcare settings per day in addition to their Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) setting in any given day.

During the holiday period a child may therefore access a maximum of two registered settings under the offer.


Can I accrue my hours?

No.  Parents will be provided with a total of 30 hours a week of combined FPN provision and childcare with parents choosing how much of the 30 hours to use. Any hours not used in a week will be lost.

Any unused holidayweeks can be carried over and used in the next term, provided they are still eligible to receive the Offer.


What if my child has additional needs?

The Childcare Offer is available to all eligible parents. Please ensure you tick yes on your application form when asked “My child has a disability or has a Special Educational Need” and we will process your application accordingly to ensure any additional support is implemented.


What if my employment circumstances change?

Families may at times fall out of eligibility for the Offer if for example one or both parents lose their job or their hours are reduced below the minimum requirement. In order to provide stability for both children and childcare providers, and to give parents the opportunity to become eligible again, those families who fall out of eligibility will still be able to access the offer for a limited amount of time (8 weeks temporary exemption period).

It is the parent’s responsibility to inform both the Local Authority and the provider if their circumstances change.


Are parents required to access Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) provision to be entitled to the childcare?

No, accessing Foundation Learning provision is not a prerequisite to accessing the childcare element of the Childcare Offer. Where a parent is unable to or does not wish to access Foundation Learning they will only be able to access the childcare element of the Childcare Offer (17.5 hours during term time and 30 hours for holiday weeks). To discuss Nursery Admissions please contact the team on 02920 872087.


Please Note: If your child was born on or after the 1st September 2019 you will need to apply on the gov.wales website. For further information and to apply visit the childcare for wales website​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

If you are eligible now but do not wish to access the Childcare Offer funding until January 2023 you will need to apply on the childcare for wales website​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

The following information only applies if your child was born on the 31 August 2019 or before and you would like to use childcare funding before January 2023

We advise using a desktop PC or laptop to complete your application.

You will have 8 weeks to submit all required evidence to support your application.After this time, incomplete applications will be closed and a new application will need to be submitted should you wish to pursue the Childcare Offer further.

The application form is only available online and cannot be saved, so please ensure you have the following information before you start:

Proof of parental responsibility

  • Child’s long hand birth certificate which states one or both parents names OR
  • Child’s short hand birth certificate plus further evidence of your parental responsibility. (Examples: Child benefit letter, tax credits letter, red book, foundation phase nursery admissions letter and medical letters.) Any further evidence of parental responsibility must state both the parent and child’s names.
 

We do​ accept scanned copies, screenshots or photographs.



Proof of residency for all adults with parental responsibility living at the property


We can only accept one of the following documents as proof of residency:

  • Your most recent 2022 to 2023​​ council tax bill
  • Utility bill (water, gas or electricity) dated in the last 3 months
  • Bank statement dated in the last 3 months
 

We do accept scanned copies, screenshots or photographs.


Agreed childcare providers hours and days

You will need to include agreed childcare providers hours and days.



If you are employed and/or self-employed you will also need the following employment and income details:

Employers contact details

You will need to provide your employers contact details including address, telephone number and email.

Income evidence for all adults with parental responsibility living at the property



  • Parents’ most recent payslips for the last three months and/or latest self-assessment tax return (SA302)
  • Newly employed parents will need to provide an employment contract showing their name, employment start date, contracted hours and rate of pay
  • Parents in their first 12 month of self-employment are exempt from meeting our minimum earnings criteria. These parents will need to provide a document from HMRC showing their UTR number and the date they became self-employed in order to qualify. 












Department for Work and Pensions letter or current employer’s letter that would qualify parents for the Childcare Offer if not currently in work.​


If you are in education or training you will also need the following details:


  • Formal enrolment document on a Higher Education or Further Education course which is at least 10 weeks in length
  • Where a parent has applied and been offered a place on an eligible HE or FE course, but has not yet been able to enrol, they should provide evidence of a formal offer of a course place. 







A parent in education or training who meets the eligibility criteria would be able to access the Offer from the point at which their course commences.



WE DO accept scanned copies, screenshots or photographs.





Parents will be required to re-confirm they remain eligible for the Childcare Offer on a termly basis. For the majority of families this will only require responding to an email, but a randomly selected proportion of families will be required to re-submit evidence of income. 

Please note that failing to respond to the email or re-submit evidence will result in you being viewed as no longer eligible and the funding for your childcare will be stopped.

Apply Now

If your child was born on or after the 1st September 2019 you will need to apply on the gov.wales website. To apply visit the Childcare for Wales Campaign​ ​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window 

If you are eligible now but do not wish to access the Childcare Offer funding until January 2023 you will need to apply on the Childcare for Wales Campaign​ ​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window 

Only apply below if your child was born on the 31st August 2019 or before and you would like your childcare funding to start before January 2023.

Please allow 28 days for the application to be processed. This may be extended should further evidence be requested.​


Please do not apply before the application opening date as stated in the above table. Any applications received before the application opening date will be rejected and a new application will have to be submitted.

If your application has not been received and processed by the ‘eligible from’ date above, your funding will not be back-dated.

Please Note: This application is for the Childcare Offer Childcare Hours Only. 


To apply for the Foundation Phase Provision please see the Nursery Admissions page.​



If you have any questions not answered above or would like to discuss your application further please contact us.

Call: 029 2035 1713


E-mail: cardiffchildcareoffer@cardiff.gov.uk


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