Funded childcare for children with emerging developmental needs

Assisted Places – Funded childcare for children with emerging developmental needs

The Assisted Places scheme provides funding to support a child, who does not live within a Flying Start area, with emerging development needs by providing good quality childcare for the term immediately before they start their Early Years Education place. Funding supports children in registered childcare settings who are contracted with us to deliver Assisted Places.

Children are offered a maximum of five, 2.5 hour sessions per week, term time only.

The purpose of the placement is to identify any needs prior to your child starting their Early Years Education place. Targets and strategies are put in place to guide the placement which allows appropriate support to be provided to your child. These targets and strategies are shared you and the childcare setting prior to the placement starting and reviewed throughout the placement.

At the end of the placement there is a Transition Meeting where all other people involved in supporting your child can share up-to-date information to plan the transition to Early Years Education. You will be asked to attend, along with your child’s childcare provider and Early Years Education provider.

Requesting support

Assisted Places are targeted at children with emerging developmental needs who are usually being supported by Portage or Join in and Play teams. If your child is being supported by either of these teams, with your consent, and if appropriate, your Early Years worker will request an Assisted Place for your child. Working with you, information will be gathered from all professionals to ensure an informed decision is agreed by all involved.

If it is felt your child may need some additional support to access the learning environment in the childcare placement, information about your child’s needs in the setting context will be presented to the Emerging Needs panel. The panel will decide the level of any additional support needed including a plan to step down the level of support by the end of the placement.

However, if your child is not receiving support from either of these teams and you feel that you would like to find out more, there is information on our Child Development page.

Finding a childcare provider

If your child is approved for an Assisted Place, you will receive an email confirming this. You will need to find a suitable Assisted Places approved childcare provider and secure a placement.  You will be supported through this process by your Early Years Worker.

If you do not have an Early Years Worker who is in regular contact with you, one will be allocated to you to help with the placement process.

Your Early Years Worker will guide you through the placement process using the list of providers below and refer to the agreed targets and strategies for your child.

We are currently working to increase the number of childcare providers that offer Assisted Places. We will continue to update the list of providers as more are able to offer a placement.

For information and guidance about what to look for when choosing a childcare service please visit our Finding Childcare page.

Before funding can start

Before funding can start, your chosen childcare provider must inform us of the start date and number of sessions you are taking up by completing an Individual Child Placement (ICP) Form.  It is important that your childcare provider completes this form with you present so both parties are clear what is being requested. Your Early Years Support worker can support this if you wish.

Funding cannot start until the ICP has been approved and the funding Start Date, End Date and Funded Hours confirmed. Both you and your childcare provider will receive an email to confirm this.

The Early Years Hub aim to process your ICP Form within 10 working days, however, during busy periods this may take longer. If the form is incomplete this may also delay the process.

If you wish to make a change to your funded hours (this cannot exceed 5 sessions of 2.5 hours) or end a placement early, you will need to discuss this with your childcare provider and a new ICP Form will need to be submitted.

! The contractual agreement to provide childcare is between the parents/guardians and the childcare provider and should be legally enforced through the signing of a setting contract between parents/guardians and their chosen childcare provider.

Further information

If you have any queries or need support, please contact the Early Years Hub.


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