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Cardiff Council

www.cardiff.gov.uk

Government-funded childcare

​The Childcare Offer for 3 and 4 year olds

Childcare logo​ 

The Childcare Offer Team are working remotely at this time. Unfortunately, this means access to the main telephone line is extremely limited.

Please contact the team at cardiffchildcareoffer@cardiff.gov.uk​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window or via our Facebook page.

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


The Childcare Offer will provide all eligible working parents living in Cardiff with a combined 30 hours of government-funded childcare and Foundation Phase Nursery 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 Phase Nursery Provision (Early Education): 12.5 hours
Cardiff Childcare Offer 17.5 hours

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.

9 weeks of ‘holiday’ provision outside of scho​ol term
Cardiff Childcare Offer = 30 hours per week

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


Eligible children will be able to access the Offer from the beginning of the term after the term in which they turn 3 up until the September following their fourth birthday, when they begin their full time education place. 

Due to COVID-19, the Childcare Offer for Wales was temporarily suspended. This suspension will be lifted on the 1st September. Please see the table below to check when you can submit your application.


Date of Birth​​ Term Child Turns 3

First Term for Childcare​

Earliest Childcare Offer Fun​ding Start Date Applications Open

1 September 2016 - 31 March 2017

​Autumn 2019 / Spring 2020 Autumn 2020 (due to suspension)
1 September 2020 (following processing and approval of your application) Open

1 April 2017 - 31 August 2017

Summer

Autumn 2020

1 September 2020 onwards (following processing and approval of your application)
Open

1 September 2017 - 31 December 2017

Autumn​

Spring 2021

4 January 2021 9 November 2020

1 January 2018 - 31 March 2018

Spring​

Summer 2021

12 April 2021 ​15 February 2021


Please note, the Offer will start from the first day of the school term set by the Local Authority.
If your application has not been received and processed by the beginning of the school term in which your child is eligible, your funding will not be back-dated.


Please do not apply for the offer more than 8 weeks before the beginning of the term following your child’s third birthday.  Any applications received before the 8 weeks will be rejected and a new application will have to be submitted.


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

We are pleased to announce that the Childcare Offer for Wales will now be accessible to all eligible parents throughout the whole of Cardiff.


Parents are eligible for the government-funded childcare if:

  • ​All adults with parental responsibility in the household are working and earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) but less than £100,000 (per parent) per tax year.

    This applies to both parents/co-habiting couples in a two parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family.

  •  Self-employed parents and parents on zero hours contracts are eligible if they can meet the minimum earnings criteria over a 3 month period.  Where one or both parents are newly self-employed and have not yet met the minimum hour’s eligibility criteria, 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. Parents will need to provide a document from HMRC showing their UTR number and the date they became self-employed in order to qualify.


All Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in partners will need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within that household to be able to take up the offer.

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 and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring;
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave;
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay;
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of the following benefits;
    • ​​​​​​​Incapacity benefit;
    • Severe disablement allowance;
    • Long term incapacity benefit;
    • Employment and support allowance; or
    • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or 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 childcare 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.

Please be aware that the Childcare Offer funds a maximum of 48 out of 52 weeks and therefore parents will be liable for any childcare used during the non-funded weeks. These will always be non-term time 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 holiday weeks 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 FPN 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 FPN 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).

FPN hours cannot be traded for additional hours of childcare under the Childcare Offer.

To discuss Nursery Admissions please contact the team on 02920 872909.



Privacy Notice: Monitoring Information of Parents, Children and Providers using the Childcare Offer

What personal data do we hold and where do we get this information?

Personal data is defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified by reference to an identifier’. Special category data such as ethnic group or health condition has additional protection under data protection law.


The Welsh Government has access to personal and special category data of parents, carers and children receiving services from local authorities.  The data that we regularly receive on parents, carers and children is explained in detail in Annex 1 to this privacy notice. Your name and contact details are not regularly passed to Welsh Government for monitoring with the data outlined in Annex 1. However, your name and contact details will be provided to Welsh Government by your Local Authority when needed for evaluation purposes. Your child’s name will not be provided.


Additionally, the Welsh Government has access to personal data of childcare providers delivering services funded by the Welsh Government under the childcare offer. The data that we regularly receive on child care providers is explained in detail in Annex 2 to this privacy notice. The Welsh Government will not share your name with a third party e.g. non-government agencies and researchers unless your name is your business name which is publically available.


The Childcare Offer programme is periodically evaluated to assess the performance of the programme and help Welsh Ministers make decisions relating to the development of the policy in relation to the Childcare Offer. If you are contacted to take part in research activities related to the Childcare Offer you will be issued a separate Privacy Notice outlining how information generated by the research will be collected, held and used. Taking part in research is voluntary and you will not be identified in any reports.


Your data is linked anonymously to other data sources as part of the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank for non‑commercial research purposes only, unless you ask for this linkage to not take place (see the explanatory note).


What is the lawful basis for using your data?
The lawful basis for processing information in this data collection exercise is our public task; that is, exercising our official authority to undertake the core role and functions of the Welsh Government. Some of the data we are collecting are called ‘special category data’ (in this case ethnicity) and the lawful basis for processing this information is that it is for statistical or research purposes.


This enables the operation of, and provides information which will help the Welsh Ministers to make decisions relating to the development of the policy in relation to, the Childcare Offer which is being delivered to improve economic and social well-being in Wales in accordance with section 60 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.


The data sent to Welsh Government will be used:

  • to measure how well Welsh Government and Local Authorities are delivering their services to you and your child;
  • to support improvements to these services;
  • to allocate money to Local Authorities and others; or
  • to support wider research into the provision of services to you and your child, or others;
  • to link data from this form to other data sources for the purpose of evaluating the impact of the project on the individuals who take part.

The data sent to Welsh Government will not be used by them:

  • to take any action in relation to you or your child, or your childcare setting; nor
  • to identify you or your child in any reports.

How secure is your personal data?
Personal data is transferred via Objective Connect, a secure data transfer system. Data is stored within folders on secure networks which have access restricted to Welsh Government officials working on the Childcare Offer.


All data gathered will be reported in an anonymised format when used in statistical or research reports. No reports will contain your contact details nor any information that could be used to identify individuals. Aggregate data will also be placed on the StatsWales data website​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window​.


When the Welsh Government commissions an evaluation of the Childcare Offer this work will be carried out by an accredited third party (e.g. a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.


How long do we keep your personal data?
Any personal data transferred to Welsh Government will be deleted three years after the date it was received.


The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) based in Swansea University also have access to a part of your personal data for a period of three months, until the data linking with Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) is complete.


Individual rights
Under GDPR, you have the following rights in relation to the personal information you provide as part of the Childcare Offer for Wales you have the right:

  • To access  a copy of your own data;
  • For us to rectify inaccuracies in that data;
  • To object to or restrict processing (in certain circumstances);
  • For your data to be ‘erased’ (in certain circumstances); and
  • To lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection.

The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Phone: 01625 545 745 or 0303 123 1113. Website: www.ico.gov.uk​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window


Further information
If you have any further questions about how your data will be used by the Welsh Government or wish to exercise your rights using the General Data Protection Regulation, please contact:

Childcare Offer Team
CP2, Crown Buildings
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
Email: Talkchildcare@gov.wales

The Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at:
Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ,
Email: DataProtectionOfficer@gov.wales.


Explanatory note
The SAIL Databank is a databank of anonymised data about the population of Wales, which is internationally recognised for the robust secure storage and use of anonymised person-based data for research to improve health, well-being and services. Respondents are able to opt out of having their answers linked. For more information on how to do that or on data linking, please visit: https://gov.wales/linking-and-matching-data-privacy-notice​​​​​​​​​​​​​​External link opens in a new window.


 

Annex 1:

Which data does Welsh Government have access to?
Parents of children taking up the childcare offer- Eligibility checking        

Local authorities ask for details of you, as either the parent or carer of such child, or children and the children receiving services under the childcare offer to check your eligibility to receive the offer against eligibility criteria as set by the Welsh Government. This includes;

  • Your working hours and wage
    • This information is also passed to Welsh Government by the Local authority anonymously, which means this data will not include your name or that of your child.
  • The date of birth of the child you are applying to receive the childcare offer for
    • This information is also passed to Welsh Government by the Local authority anonymously, which means this data will not include your name or that of your child.
  • Your address
    •  Your postcode is passed to Welsh Government by the Local authority anonymously, which means this data will not include your name or that of your child.
  • Information about benefits you are claiming that may entitle you to the childcare offer
    • This is not passed to the Welsh Government.

Parents / Carers of, and children taking up the childcare offer
Local authorities provide details of you, as either the parent or carer of such child, or children and the children receiving services under the childcare offer from them to Welsh Government, and this includes:

  • Data about your child and you as the parent(s)/carer(s);
    • Gender
    • Date of Birth
    • Postcode
    • Local authority
    • Ethnicity
    • Whether your child has a special educational need (SEN)
    • Your salary information
    • Your average weekly hours worked
    • Whether you accessed any Flying Start services – no information on what services collected

  • Basic details of the services provided to you and your child prior to taking up the childcare offer;
    • Your rating of affordability of childcare prior to taking up the childcare offer
    • Your monthly average spend on childcare prior to taking up the childcare offer
    • The number of hours of paid childcare you used on average each week prior to taking up the offer
    • The number of hours of unpaid childcare you used on average each week prior to taking up the offer

 

  • Basic details of the services provided to you and your child in taking up the childcare offer;
    • The number of hours you have applied for the child under the childcare offer
    • The number of hours your child attends the hours booked under the childcare offer
    • The language provision of the childcare your child is accessing
    • Your preference of language provision for your child to access the offer
    • Your child’s attendance at Foundation Phase Nursery Provision
    • The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) register number of the childcare provider(s) you are accessing the childcare offer at

Annex 2

Childcare providers delivering services under the childcare offer
Local authorities provide details of you as a provider delivering services under the childcare offer to Welsh Government, and this includes:

  • Your contact details including – name, telephone number, email address and postal address and Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) registration number
  • The language provision of your setting as self-declared to the local authorities and to Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)
  • The number of hours that each child receiving the childcare offer in your setting have booked with you and how many hours they have actually attended
  • Any additional costs which parents have incurred through taking up the offer at your setting including; food costs, travel costs, and any additional hours they take up at your setting on top of the childcare offer.
We advise using a desktop PC or laptop to complete your application.

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

Agreed childcare providers hours and days

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

Proof of parental responsibility

  • ​A scan or photograph of your child’s long hand birth certificate which states one or both parents names, or
  • A scan or photograph of your child’s short hand birth certificate plus further evidence of your parental responsibility. Examples include, 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.


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 2020-2021 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 screenshots of online accounts or statements.







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), including unique tax reference (UTR) number
  • If self-employed for less than 12 months, HMRC letter showing UTR number and date of registration
  • Scan, photograph or screenshot of any Department for Work and Pensions letter or current employer’s letter that would qualify parents for the Childcare Offer if not currently in work.


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.

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

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


Do not apply for the offer more than 8 weeks before the beginning of the term following your child’s third birthday.  Please refer to the table in the “Who is Eligible for the Childcare Offer?” section to check the date you can apply. Any applications received before the 8 weeks will be rejected and a new application will have to be submitted.


If your application has not been received and processed by the beginning of the school term in which your child is eligible, 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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