Chuckle Bunnies Day Nursery is registered to accept the nursery grant for 3 and 4 year olds.
What is the Nursery Grant?
The Government have decided that education for children aged 3 and 4 year olds, whilst not mandatory, is actually a good idea.
To encourage people to give their 3 and 4 year olds access to these educational benefits the Government has made money available to pay for this.
Which providers can claim the Nursery Grant?
Private Day Nurseries, State Schools, Private Schools, Playgroups etc can all access this money on the child's behalf. The only criteria is that they are a member of their local Early Years Childcare Development Partnership (EYDCP) and submit to Ofsted Education inspections. Most establishments conform to these and therefore the ability to take nursery grant does not in itself make any statement concerning the quality of care offered.
All of the above have to conform to the same set of standards and are governed by Ofsted. It should be remembered that there is good and bad in every sector, but excellence is possible in any.
Who administers the Nursery Grant?
The nursery grant money is administered by the Local Education Authority (LEA) - in particular the Early Years Team. Due to local differences some LEA's fund 3 and 4 year old places differently to others. Indeed if the provider of the education is in one LEA and the child lives in another it may not be possible for the nursery to claim the grant. Other criteria sometimes assigned to this are postcodes.
During 2003 the way 3 & 4 year olds are funded will change. At the time of writing (Dec 2002) it is unclear exactly how. However, instead of the Government providing a separate amount of money under the Nursery Grant, an amount will be included in the LEA's standard spending assessment - i.e. how schools are funded. This may or may not mean changes. The Government's intention is that all three and four year olds will continue to gain free education should their parents wish it.
What is the Nursery Grant for?
The grant covers nursery education for up to 5 sessions a week for a term which has to be a minimum of 11 weeks. Each session must be at least 2.5 hours long. Note the provider does not get a larger grant if they provide longer education sessions or terms. The grant does not cover care provided around the educational session.
Can my child start at any time?
Not really. The funding is for a term, you really have to register with the provider before the start of their term otherwise the provider wouldn't get the funding for your child. Note the term dates of different providers are different and hence it is best to enquire earlier rather than later.
Can I only use the grant in one place?
In some LEA's the grant can be used across multiple establishments and in others it can't. However, it can only be used to fund up to 5 sessions per week in total across all the settings.
What's the current position or want to know more?
The situation changes quite regularly and so it worth while either:
contacting us directly
Children's Information Service of the Early Years Team at Staffordshire County Council.