Owain Lloyd, Deputy Director Childcare, Play and Early Years Division of Welsh Government, has shared information with CWLWM partners to provide further clarity relating to the Additional Charges for families accessing the Childcare Offer.
Currently, Childcare Providers receive a rate of £4.50 per hour for every hour of childcare they are booked to provide under the Offer. This rate excludes charges for food, transport and other activities such as off-site activities which incur a cost e.g. trips. If childcare providers would usually charge more than £4.50 per hour for childcare, providers cannot charge parents an additional hourly rate to top-up the rate under the offer.
Parents/carers should not be charged more than £7.50 for food for a full day session (£4.75 for a half day session). Guidelines are silent on transport costs and off site activities, which vary. Parents/carers should not be charged more for any additional elements than parents who are not accessing the offer are charged. If a Childcare Provider does not normally charge for food/transport outside of the Offer, they cannot charge those families accessing childcare through the Offer.
In situations where additional charges (e.g. food) are combined with the standard day/half day rate for families not accessing childcare through the offer, changes should be implemented to ensure clarity over the fact that these additional charges are across the board and not purely for those taking up the Childcare Offer.
Early Education / Childcare
For settings providing early education as well as childcare, it must be clear which hours of attendance are paid for under each element, with no double charging. Where a Childcare Provider is holding a place open whilst a child takes up an early education place elsewhere, the setting would be permitted to charge for those hours under the Offer if they would typically charge for those hours.
A single rate of £4.50 for both early education and childcare elements of the Offer is being trialled in Flintshire.
Appropriate rates for hours over and above the 30 hours of education and/or childcare should be set by individual Childcare Providers.