Children attending more than one provider

Following an item in last week’s digest there were a few questions raised and we want to give more detail this week to help explain what was meant.

  • Due to COVID-19, or other circumstances, providers may have updated their admissions criteria to say that parents can only attend their setting i.e. cannot attend their setting as well as another provision.
  • However, parents can use their funded entitlements wherever they choose. This could be in one or more settings.
  • The government are encouraging parents to keep the number of settings that they use to a minimum.
  • Section 4.4 page 18 of the Provider Agreement that all funded settings sign up to comply with states

‘Providers cannot insist that the full funding is used at their provision or those families are prioritised as parents need the flexibility to use multiple provisions when working and when a child lives in two different locations.’

  • Page 33 of the Early Years Entitlements: Operational Guidance for Local Authorities and Providers
  • ‘Private, voluntary and independent providers are free to set their own criteria for the admission of children, providing they comply with relevant legislation on equalities and non- discrimination. However, for clarity, all parents should have the same rights to access a free entitlement place, regardless of whether they choose to pay for additional hours of provision, additional activities or meals. Whilst the child continues to take up the 30 hours’ entitlement there should be no restrictions on that place e.g. parents should not have to reserve a place each term.