Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme

Welsh Government have announced that the Childcare Offer for Wales, will be closed to children due to start after the Easter holidays. This will be replaced by the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme C-CAS.

This scheme will fund childcare costs for pre-school children (children aged from 0 to 5 years) of key workers, excluding childcare provider retention fees. We will also continue to fund childcare provision for vulnerable children.

This is initially for a 3 month period, at which time it will be reviewed by Welsh Government.

If you have already applied for the childcare offer,  your application will not be processed until after the suspension. Childcare spaces are currently only available to key workers and vulnerable children.

If you have previously been told your child will get the offer for the summer term, your child will not start to receive the Offer until after the suspension.

We will fund childcare costs for pre-school children of key workers incurred on or after 1 April 2020, including backdating payments where appropriate.

Under the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance scheme, a parent is eligible to receive the childcare if:

  • They have a child, or children, of pre-school age;
  • Either parent is a critical worker as defined by the U.K. Government.
  • They are kinship or foster parents and either is a critical worker;
  • The child, or children, are pre-school age and have been assessed by NPTCBC as being vulnerable.

A definitive list of critical workers is available here:
https://gov.wales/coronavirus-key-critical-workers

How to apply

Guidance for Keyworkers

Critical workers can apply for government-funded childcare for any additional hours of childcare they require during the COVID-19 pandemic. If their usual childcare providers has closed because of the pandemic then they may apply for the government-funded childcare at a new registered setting.

Critical workers with pre-school aged children should be able to access childcare at any registered childcare setting that remains open. This includes nurseries, childminders and after-school clubs. For a full list of registered childcare that remains open in Neath Port Talbot, Critical workers should contact Neath Port Talbot Family Information service by emailing our team fis@npt.gov.uk and requesting a list of registered childcare.

Critical workers should be able to access the number of hours/days of childcare that they require to cover their working hours. This does not include hours where their spouse, or another family member, is able to care for their children.

Critical workers with school-aged children will be able to continue to send their children to a school setting. This may not be their ‘usual’ term-time school.

In Neath Port Talbot emergency childcare settings in schools continue to remain open to provide childcare where both parents, or a single parent are critical workers.

For more information about open school provision in NPT for your school aged child follow this link https://www.npt.gov.uk/22595

Childcare providers will be able to approach NPT Family Information Service for funding to support additional costs for the care of your child.
In respect of the childcare assistance, additional support could be required if a child has permanent or temporary:

  • Cognition and Learning difficulties, including specific, moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties;
  • Behavioural, emotional and social development difficulties;
  • Communication and interaction, including autism; speech, language and communication difficulty;
  • Sensory and/or physical, including hearing and/or visual impairment or physical difficulties’ and/or
  • Medical conditions

It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the childcare provider of any known additional learning needs prior to starting childcare unless already known to the childcare provider. You must discuss together what additional support you believe your child will require whilst attending childcare.

Any children showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the childcare setting and remain at home for 7 days.

Any children living with someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the childcare setting and remain at home for 14 days from the day the first person became ill.

Full terms and conditions can be seen here

Guidance for Childcare Providers

The Welsh Government is providing NPT Council with some degree of flexibility on how we can deliver the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance funding for critical workers.

Childcare providers that have been delivering the Childcare Offer will have become used to being paid a rate of £4.50 per hour.

As there is no upper, or lower, threshold on the number of hours/days of childcare that a critical worker can access we have simplified the process.

Both Childcare settings and Childminders with be paid a rate of £45 per day and £25 per half day session. We would expect a full day to be at least 8 hours and a half session to be at least 4 hours.
As a minimum main meals and snacks would be included in the above costs.

For critical workers who may require childcare outside of the normal office hours we continue to work closely with our childcare sector to review the demand of such services.

Evening Childcare rate: Premium rate paid on top of Half/Full day rate
Weekend Childcare rate: £32 Half Day £60 Full Day
Transport: To be agreed between the provider and LA.

Transport maybe used to collect a child or sibling group from their home to childcare.

The parent/carer must provide proof that they are a key worker to their chosen provider in order to access the provision under the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme.

Payment for the delivery of the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance scheme for critical workers is not restricted to those childcare providers that were registered to deliver the Childcare Offer Previously. NPT Council will make payments to any registered childcare provider for the delivery of the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme.

Where appropriate and following consultation with neighbouring local authorities we may be able to pay for childcare outside our local authority.

All childcare providers will be paid four weeks in arrears providing invoices are submitted on time; you will be required to submit a Workbook four weeks in arrears.

Each workbook will contain a four week period. The workbook should be submitted on the last working day of each four week period.

The workbook must evidence booked hours and non-attendance, you may be asked to tell us reasons for a childcare absence. E.g. Symptoms of COVID-19 or living someone who has symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

We will pay for booked childcare from the child’s first day of absence for up to 2 weeks.

Funding may be limited per setting, as we must consider the social distancing rules and any other health and safety guidance. The funding is to support critical workers and vulnerable children. It is not a financial package to fund numerous settings to remain open.

Funding will be paid directly to settings based on the number of eligible children attending the setting per week.

Monies will be paid to the setting four weeks in arears at £45 per full day and £25 per half a day, per child. Only the authorised person(s) of the setting can make a claim for funding.

The Welsh Government have made a commitment to support our critical workers and vulnerable children from the 1st April, it will be possible for Childcare settings to backdate any childcare fees to the 1st April. Funding will be in place until the end of June 2020 or before if our working lives return to normal.

The childcare provider must inform the NPT Council of a family's change in circumstance and that this should be a two-way process. We won’t pay for any childcare costs beyond the end of June and we wouldn’t expect a family or the Local authority to incur costs if the funding ceases due to the pandemic coming to an end.

The Welsh Government will be continuously reviewing the funding as the pandemic progresses.

The claim form should be fully completed with details of eligible children which will include the child unique reference number and total number days and hours of childcare used per week, including evening childcare. Further guidance relating to the Workbook submission will be attached to the Workbook.
NPT Council will only pay up to the maximum daily rate of £45 to include all meals and snacks. The funding will be paid directly to the childcare provider. Any additional costs that may be incurred should be discussed with NPT Council in the first instance.

The parent/carer must inform NPT Council in writing if any other body offers funding for the same purpose at any time during the grant period.

NPT Council will carry out a 3-month check during June 2020 to confirm families remained eligible and continue to remain eligible for funding.

Full terms and conditions can be seen here

We are aware that in these uncertain and unprecedented times, the guidance may not cover all eventualities and needs for childcare. For this reason, anything that falls outside of this guidance will be considered on a case by case basis.

Further information

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