Early Education Funding at St Catherine’s

We know that covering the cost of childcare is not always easy, so we are really pleased to tell you that if you are considering joining our  Reception you will be entitled to receive the government’s funding which is available for all  4 year olds.

There are 2 types of Funding available:-

Currently, all 4 years old children are entitled to 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week, for 38 weeks per year, commencing the term after their 3rd birthday. This is known as Universal Funding. These hours are offered 3 hours per morning 8.30 am to 11.30 am. Funded hours have no monetary value to parents.

The Government has extended the hours from 15 to 30 hours a week for children of working families who meet the eligibility criteria. This is known as Extended Entitlement.

The extended entitlement funding is designed to give working families up to 30 hours funded childcare a week (1,140 hours per year), and this funding can make Independent schooling an affordable option for consideration.

We will help you understand how the scheme works and assist you through all the form filling processes. Like to find out more?

If you are thinking of joining us, it is really easy to book a visit.

If you would like to read a bit more before you do, we have put together a quick guide to help you get started.

Step 1. Am I eligible for the Extended Entitlement?

Early Education Funding is designed for working families, where both parents live and work in the UK. So, you and your partner will both need to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage or living wage and no more than £100,000 a year each.

What funding will I actually get?

You will be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare a week (1,140 hours per year). At St Catherine’s we have worked hard to balance the funding with our ability to bring you really supportive, quality education. See Step 3: How are the 30 hours offered to fully explain how these hours are offered.

When can my funding start?

You can claim up to 30 hours of free childcare from the start of the term after your daughter turns 4.

Terms at St Catherine’s follow the school year. For example, if your daughter’s birthday is in July, provided you are eligible for 30 hours you will get the funding from September.

To get started, you will need to apply through the Childcare Choices website and get an eligibility code. See Step 2: How do I apply for further details

What’s the difference between the existing 15 hour scheme and this one?

Families with 4 year olds already get 15 hours of funded childcare per week in term time. That is a universal scheme, so everyone can benefit, whether they are working or not. The new scheme is just for working families, and it increases funding from 15 to 30 hours.

Step 2: How do I apply?

When should I apply?

You will be eligible for funding from the start of the first term after your daughter’s 3rd birthday.

To make sure you get your code as soon as possible, you will need to apply before the end of the previous term. You do not have to wait until then though. You can apply for your code up to 16 weeks before her third birthday, and it is a good idea to do it early, just in case you need any help.

How do I apply?

Just go to childcarechoices.gov.uk to apply. Once you are done, they will send you a code, which you will need to give to us so we can set your funded hours up.

Do I need to apply again for the next term?

Yes. The way the scheme is set up, you will be asked to confirm you are still eligible every three months. It only takes a minute or two to do, and you will be sent a reminder by HMRC when it is time.

Like a bit more detail?

You can find out more about the funding at childcarechoices.gov.uk or call the government’s Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Step 3: How are the 30 Hours offered at St Catherine’s?

How does St Catherine’s Offer the Extended Entitlement?

We really want the funding to work for your whole family, so whether your daughter needs year-round care or term time only support, we are able to accommodate you.

At St Catherine’s we acknowledge that the Extended Entitlement is aimed at working families and therefore these 15 hours are offered as wrap-around care only, ie Breakfast Club from 7.30am and After School Club until 5.45pm. In addition remember your daughter will also be entitled to the Universal hours from the hours of 8.30 to 11.30am.

We will talk with you about what you need, explain a bit more about how the scheme works and help you through the process, step by step.

Do I have to use all of my hours?

Not at all. Just use the hours you would like to.

Is the funding just available in term time?

The scheme gives you funding for the 38 weeks of term time. Term times at St Catherine’s are 34 weeks per annum. However, we do offer an optional extension for Early Years and the girls are able to access continued education and play throughout the year. As this extension is optional you have the ability to use your full entitlement of 38 weeks should you wish to do so.

Please do ask to speak to Mrs Wilder, Assistant Bursar for further information.

Like a bit more detail?

You can find out more about the funding at childcarechoices.gov.uk or call the government’s Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.