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Funding weeks


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Hi, I haven’t posted on here before....in fact I haven’t posted on any forum for a very long time so forgive me if I’m in the wrong place!

I work at a charity run playgroup and recently attended a course where I overheard people talking about how many weeks they are open for. It was my understanding that a childcare setting had to be open to care for children for at least 38 weeks in order to receive funding, yet the other people were saying that they were only open for 35 weeks. Please could someone clarify where we stand on this? Are we allowed to use any of these days to have training? Plan? Do home visits? Is there a legal specification on what we have to provide? I for one would love to be able to plan as team and attend courses together, without having to pay for cover or to have to do it on a weekend or during our allotted holiday period. 

I’d be grateful if someone could advise me!

Thanks

Rosabean

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Hi Rosabean, welcome to the forum. We are open and funded for 38wks a year and not allowed to use any days for training, it seems to vary from county to county though so it’s best to read your own counties funding agreement.

Edited by Mouseketeer
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Hi Rosabean and welcome.

Same as Mouseketeer. 38 weeks not allowed inset days either.

Think some settings were allowed to keep to fewer weeks if that was what they were doing before 15 hour stuff came in. (Lots of years ago) Or more recently I have heard of settings with falling numbers who have been allowed to cut weeks but tied into other conditions.

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We are 38 weeks and 'can' have up to 3 days (one per term) for training..... however they would 'prefer' that this was done out of funded weeks! xD

I think the less weeks could be to do with the actual setting?  I remember something in our county about settings operating in Cricket Clubs  that couldn't do the full 38 weeks due to the cricket season.  

 

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So do you have to find replacement hours for those chn who miss the days you close?

It seems unfair to me that some counties allow this and some don’t, especially with the fuss I’ve just had trying to organise a staff meeting to look at GDPR and the changes to practice we might need to make, something that has to be addressed but again has to be in own time and extra cost to the setting to cover overtime :-( 

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A childcare setting is able to be open for less than 38 weeks . Most of our private schools are only open for just over 30 but still offer funding. Depending on your LEA you may be able to offer more hours over less weeks or have reduced funding. However the children are expected to have 570 hours of care/education in the year. You need to check your Lea's funding agreement as each one operates differently!

PS welcome!!

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I think in our LA you can open for fewer than 38 weeks but can only claim funding or the weeks you are open.  I think on our paperwork it gives you the option to say how many weeks you are claiming for in any one term.  I'm not absolutely sure though, as we are open 51 weeks a year so I don't take any notice of it!  We are definitely not allowed any PD days, training days etc.

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  • FSFRebecca changed the title to Funding weeks

Definitely varies between areas.. our are can open less than 38 weeks and the setting declares at the beginning of the funding year how many weeks they will be open, and gets paid for just those weeks.. None of those paid for dys can be taken for training , etc. Settings must be open for all the claimed weeks, and if there is a closure day in that week have to make up by opening an extra day.  They do offer some lee way for emergency closure .You need to contact your local funding team to find out .

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The paragraph below is from the Dept for Education guidance to local authorities, so it would appear that it may not be offered over less weeks. However, some LAs are happy for providers to take inset days as they clearly add value to the programme, ours certainly does. However, the school term is 39 weeks and not 38 - so term time staff should be working 39 weeks and therefore should have 5 days to use for training and planning etc. I use both - in all our term time settings, staff work exact school terms so they get 13 weeks off (Feb half term = 1. Easter = 2. Spring bank  = 1. Summer = 6. Oct half term = 1. Christmas = 2 TOTAL 13) which means they work 39. When I prepare calendars for the following year, I arrange to break up a day or so before schools so staff get an inset day and the children get 38 weeks. I also still take advantage of the right to take inset days for our all year round settings.

 

Two-year-olds: A child will be entitled to the free hours from the term after if both of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) the child has attained the age of two (2) the child or parent meets the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are set out in the legal annex (see page 39/40). Local authorities are required by legislation to: A1.1 Secure free places offering 570 hours a year over no fewer than 38 weeks of the year1 and up to 52 weeks of the year for every eligible child in their area from the relevant date,

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11 hours ago, GFCCCC said:

However, the school term is 39 weeks and not 38 - so term time staff should be working 39 weeks and therefore should have 5 days to use for training a

Do you pay staff 39 weeks a year but only have funding for 38 wks ?, some counties seem to allow a number of inset days out of the 38wks funding.

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That was always our issue,  we were paid only 38 weeks funding but if we were open same as school ended up with one week unpaid.. it did not work using these days for training etc as we were not paid for them , so we decided to only open for the weeks we were paid.. no training days for us in funded hours.. 

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I always thought that schools were 'open' 39 weeks but then were allowed 5 inset days through the year which took it down to 38 weeks.  We run in line with the local primary school  because most of our families use it and it makes sense.  

I also thought that the children had their own year for their funding allocation - 570 or 1140 dependant on the term of their birthday.  So, a child born in October will become eligible for funding January 1st and have until 31st December to use their full entitlement, subject to the usual rules of no more than 15 or 30 hours used in one week.  Just another thing to complicate our job!

Edited by lsp
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Ohhh I’ve never looked at the how many hours they get from the 1st day of the term they get funding for one year from that date, I just work on how many hours they are entitled to depending on how many weeks are in the term, I’m not sure it always adds to 38 wks unless you go Spring, Autum, Summer in the same financial year, we find our ‘school year’ can fluctuate between 37/39 wks .......ummm something else to think about O.o

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I know. For example, for Summer 18 funding,  our LA has flagged up that children born born in summer term who have used their full entitlement during the previous Autumn and Spring, will only have 195 hours left rather than 198 that children born in Autumn and Spring.  It' a pain keeping an eye on it as term dates change each year.  I will just add that we are term time only so not sure how funding works out for full time settings.  

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We are TT to, I don’t think my county does that, we just get a maximum universal/30 hours per term or stretched for any child regardless of what they’ve used in terms before. Do you then charge the parent the extra hours ?

Edited by Mouseketeer
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Our LA run their year from April to March with 38 weeks, so it all works out.

I guess some children technically could do 39 weeks depending when they start- but that would be down to fact  they do Sept - July. (meaning they would only ever do 38 within the funded year dates)

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2 hours ago, Mouseketeer said:

We are TT to, I don’t think my county does that, we just get a maximum universal/30 hours per term or stretched for any child regardless of what they’ve used in terms before. Do you then charge the parent the extra hours ?

Charge or give them the option to not come in for the unfunded hours.  Tends to only be 3 or 6 hours depending on the pattern of days they attend. It doesn't happen every term and only if they have used their 570 or 1140 hours during 'their' year.

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2 hours ago, lsp said:

Charge or give them the option to not come in for the unfunded hours.  Tends to only be 3 or 6 hours depending on the pattern of days they attend. It doesn't happen every term and only if they have used their 570 or 1140 hours during 'their' year.

See, this is when I'm an argumentative blighter- I would put the case that they are doing two 'part years' and not full years!!!

If they want the April - March when academic if Sept - Aug, then that's their problem and not the parents!

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yes I agree Louby loo - somehow, some way, someone is out of pocket on these things and I assume it's probably us>:( if they were being generous, they would be quite clearly saying so rather than using the old smoke and mirrors technique

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