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Funding update for summer term

During these unprecedented times, Staffordshire County Council has endeavoured to financially support the early years sector through the crisis.

The Council can confirm a decision has been made not to pursue the options of Early Education Funding re-distribution (taking money from closed providers to award to open providers) in response to the recent DfE flexibilities guidance published at the end of April. Therefore we will honour our commitment and not recall any Early Education Funding (EEF) from the 100% we paid you for the entirety of the summer term*.

Settings that have taken additional children since they recorded their forecast task will be paid for those hours from contingency budget, we retained from early years Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). This approach will only stand for the summer term as it is unsustainable beyond that period and we will therefore look to return to our normal approach of ‘funding following the child’ and three tasks from autumn, in close consultation with our Early Years Market Recovery Group.

(*subject to certain circumstances such as no Think 2 eligibility or when the child has exceeded their annual hours)

Given the recent government announcement we expect the majority of settings to open on the 1 June for as many children as they can safely care for and we are now looking at the implications for Summer Term funding.

We will now split the Summer Term into two distinct periods *:

  • 1 April – 31 May
  • 1 June – 31 August

(*dependent on Government confirming on 28 May that settings can go ahead and open on the 1 June)

Please note: Summer Term Funding is 13 weeks term time and 20 weeks stretch and these weeks can be taken anytime between 1 April – 31 August.

It is planned to issue a Summer Amendment Task to all Providers on the 1 July 2020 and a further Amendment Task will be made available to all Providers in September.

Interim Weekly Grant

The grant that we have paid to the percentage of settings that have remained open will be paid for the final time week commencing 25.5.2020 as all settings are encouraged to open again.

Period 1 April – 31 May

For settings that have been open for Key Worker and Vulnerable Children a Summer Actual Task has been made available to add on any additional children/hours attending over those paid on Interim Task.

Please note that during processing of this task we will limit the payment for these additional claims to weeks attended to the end of May and the team will be contacting settings to ascertain the number of weeks claimed in this period.

We will be checking the children claimed for on the task against the attendance list provided by settings and if the child has not been attending as declared on the weekly survey the hours will be removed from the task and not paid. This will be marked on the statement.

We are working on getting these additional amounts paid to settings by the end of June.

Period 1 June – 31 August

From the 1 June we will continue with the above arrangement and pay for any additional children/hours attending over those declared on the Interim Task.

An Amendment Task will be made available to add on additional children/hours from 1 June to all settings, but weeks paid up to that date will be taken into account. Parents will not be able to claim the full 13 weeks term time funding from this date as an element has already been paid to Providers and providers will need to be clear with parents how many weeks funding they have remaining to the end of term.

It will not be possible to add on any additional children or hours if they are not in attendance.

Various scenarios are listed below which should cover the majority of situations:

  • If a child does not return on the 1 June to a setting (for example due to shielding/illness) and hours have already been paid in the Summer Forecast payment, then the Authority will not look to reclaim this payment
  • If a child returns to the original setting for less hours than paid in the Forecast and does not take up these hours at an alternative setting, then the original setting will be able to retain the payment already made.
  • If a child moves settings, then the original setting will retain the payment made to date and the new setting will be able to claim the additional hours attended from the 1 June.
  • If settings have to remain closed, then the funding that has been paid to them will be retained and additional funding will be paid to any setting that picks up their children.
  • If a setting has to cap places, then any funding paid to them to date will be retained and they will be able to claim for any new children or additional hours from the 1 June.

Children accessing more than one setting

Government have not issued any direct advice as yet with regards to children attending more than one setting, which is quite common practice amongst some families.

Staffordshire County Council strongly recommends that wherever possible parents should be encouraged to send children to just one setting, but it is recognised that this may not be possible in all cases and where children attend more than one provider. providers will need to make their own decisions on the safety of the children and staff based on published guidance. If a case of covid19 occur at one setting appropriate information must be shared with other providers and advice followed and sought as per guidelines.

Please ensure that Parental Declarations are clearly marked and signed for all children in attendance.

Autumn Term 2020/21

Further communication in respect of the Autumn Term will follow after we have consulted with our EY Market Recovery Group.

If there are any queries on Funding issues please email our finance team remembering to quote your Provider ID.

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