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Early years funding reforms

Staggered intakes, late starts and settling in periods at maintained nurseries

Many schools, particularly in September operate a staggered intake system for all new children. In some instances the date a child starts accessing their full entitlement at the maintained nursery is after the headcount date.

If the parent requests a settling in period and this can be accommodated by the setting then this is acceptable. The parent must understand they will not receive their child's full early years free entitlement, as by starting after the start of term they will not get their full 38 weeks for the year.

If the setting offers a staggered intake or a late start (to accommodate home visits etc) which continues beyond the headcount date and therefore the children are not attending the provision on the day or during the week in which the headcount takes place the setting will not receive funding for those children. However if the setting recommends a staggered intake or a late start as good practice and the parent chooses to accept this then it is acceptable. In this circumstance the setting must offer a place for those children whose parents do not want to accept a late start or staggered intake and request that their child receives its full entitlement.

Charging policy

The charging policy is a policy providing approval and guidance for maintained nursery classes/ schools to charge for the delivery of any early years time in addition to the free entitlement hours for three and four year olds. Supporting this policy is an appendix on the early years foundation stage.

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