Eligible children will be able to access the offer from the beginning of term following their third birthday (please see dates below) until the term following their fourth birthday when they begin full-time education.
To access the childcare element of the offer parents and guardians must:
- Have a child aged 3 or 4 years and is able to access part time Foundation Phase Nursery Education
- Live within Ceredigion
- Be employed or self-employed and permanently reside in Wales. Both parents/co-habiting couples must be working in a two parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family;
- For the purpose of the pilot parent/carers will need to earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage per week; or are in receipt of specific caring benefits. Parent will not to be eligible if they earn more than £100,000 per annum – this is a per parent limit
Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer.
Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in partners will all need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within that household to be able to take up the offer.
What happens if I or my partner loses our job?
Should a parent fall out of eligibility, a temporary exemption period of 8 weeks will be granted during which they will be able to continue to access the offer.
Exceptions to eligibility:
Parents who are temporarily away from the workplace either because of sickness or because of parental leave (including maternity leave, statutory shared parental paid leave or adoption leave) will remain eligible to receive the offer as they are considered to be employed.
Where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent is in receipt of one of the following benefits, that child will still be able to access the offer:
- Incapacity benefit
- Carers allowance
- Severe disablement allowance
- Long term incapacity benefit
- Employment and support allowance
- National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work
Families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits will not be able to access the offer.
Family and friends carers (also known as Kinship carers) are those who have taken responsibility for a child or step-child who is not their own because:
- The child has no parents or has parents who are unable to care for the child;
- It is likely that the child would otherwise be looked after by a local authority because of concerns in relation to the child’s welfare
Kinship carers can access the offer as long as they meet the earnings criteria to be classed as ‘working’, live in Ceredigion and are caring for a child who is the correct age to receive the offer.