Navigate Up
Sign In
Loading

My Neighbourhood

Use your postcode to find local councillors, facilities, school catchment areas and more.

Find facilities in my area

Government-funded Childcare and Early Education

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 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


= 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.


9 weeks of ‘holiday’ provision outside of scho​ol terms

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


Please see following 9 weeks pro-rota holiday entitlement:

  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for three terms will be entitled to receive 9 weeks of holiday weeks childcare during school holidays.
  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for two terms will be entitled to receive 6 weeks of holiday weeks childcare during school holidays.
  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for one term will of entitled to receive 3 weeks of holiday week’s childcare during school holidays.


Children born in autumn or spring terms may be eligible to receive the Offer for more than one year, in such cases a new allocation of holiday provision will be given for the remainder of the time they are eligible to receive the offer at the beginning of the second year.

Eligible Children


Eligible children will be able to access the offer from the beginning of the term following their third birthday, up until the September following their fourth birthday, when they begin their full time education place.


Child’s Date of Birth​

Eligible from

Applications Open​

1 September 2014 – ​​31 August 2015

Autumn 2018

Open

1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015

7 January 2019

Spring 2019

Open

1 January 2016 - 31 March 2016

29 April 2019

Summer 2019

4 March 2019

1 April 2016 - 31 August 2016

2 September 2019

Autumn 2019

8 July 2019

1 September 2016 - 31 December 2016

6 January 2020

Spring 2020

11 November 2019

1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017

20 April 2020

Summer 2020

24 February 2020

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 parents, or co-habiting couples, 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 year.

    Both parents/co-habiting couples in a two parent family must be working, 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 evidence that they are 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.


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 specific benefits;

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 a list of registered providers already signed up to provide the Childcare Offer go to the Cardiff Family Information Service Childcare Search​​​External link opens in a new window and tick ‘Childcare Offer Scheme Provider’.


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.


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.

The application form cannot be saved so please ensure you have the following information before you start:

  • Scan/photograph of your Child's birth certificate
  • Scan/photograph of Parent(s) proof of residency, (e.g. most recent Council Tax Statement, bank statement or utility bill)
  • Agreed childcare providers hours and days


You will also need the following employment and income details:

  • Scans/photographs of Parent(s) last three months wage slips
  • Employers contact details, including: Address, telephone number and email.
  • If self-employed, Self-Assessment Tax Return and unique tax reference (UTR) number (If self-employed for less than 12 months, UTR number only)
  • Scan/photograph 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 6 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 application 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 e-mail, but a randomly selected proportion of families will be required to re-submit evidence of income.


Please note that failing to respond to the e-mail and/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 15 working 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


Find us on Facebook​​​External link opens in a new window
Find us on Twitter - @CardiffCCO​​​​​​External link opens in a new window



​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Cymraeg