We know that early education can be a big expense for a family. But, there are plenty of ways to help with that cost.
Private school early education is a fantastic investment in your child's future, setting them up for a lifelong love of learning and success. As Bill Gates said,
"The first 5 years have everything to do with how the next 80 turn out"
We understand that getting to grips with all the funding options out there can be a bit of a minefield, so we've put together the basics here, to help you understand your options and budget.
How can I use my funding entitlement to help reduce the costs?
You can use your 15 hours universal funding or your 30 hour extended funding code with Performatots, in blocks of 5 hours. Which equates to a half day or a full day session.
(If you have 30 hours to utilise, and you only do 2 full days, we claim for 20 hours funding on your behalf, providing your funding code is valid. We don't receive the full 30 hours funding, unless you actually use it with us.)
Unfortunately, as I'm sure you may be aware from recent media reports, the government don't fund early years adequately at all. They simply don't pay enough to sustain our wonderful setting and we only wish they funded us better, so we could deliver a 'free' early education. But, ultimately, they don't.
We think it's therefore confusing and can be frustrating for parents who have been thinking there are no costs involved when using funded hours. Funded hours don't include food/drink, direct tuition, outings, dance & drama lessons or consumables.
We think it's best to be super transparent about the costs to use your funding at Performatots, so here's a little insight. We receive just over £4.30 per hour from the Local Authority and this is only paid to us for 38 weeks of the year, not the full academic year of Performatots, which is up to 46 weeks of the year. This isn't helpful to working parents either, as of course,most of us work more than 38 weeks a year!
For 2 year olds, the ratio is 1 teacher for every 4 children and that equates to income of around £16.80 per hour, so you can quickly see that staffing costs added to any overheads, rates and resources, means that we are grossly underfunded and there is a shortfall in the funding rate, as our usual operating rate is circa £6.50 per hour.
So, to explain and understand it better, we prefer to call it 'very welcome financial help' - and stay away from the hugely misleading slogan of 'free childcare.'
We rightly therefore charge for things like our freshly cooked meals, snacks, morning milk, all tuition, taught activities, outings and consumables. This gives us our funded day rate contribution. Please see the information below.
If we were a packaway play-group in a church hall run by volunteers, we might just about be able to open the doors and provide a £4 an hour babysitting service, but as those of you who are already part of Performatots before your funding kicks in - it's SO MUCH MORE than that here and our staff qualifications and experience we feel are worth more.
3 & 4 YEAR OLD FUNDING
Your child is eligible for 15 hours funding from the term AFTER they turn 3. There are only up to 38 weeks each year that are called 'funded'. We are open for 45 weeks of the year.
There is a charge for funded days, which covers your child's breakfast/lunch/tea, mid-session snacks and milk, all consumables, all tuition classes in the day, all clubs and adventure afternoon outings and all taught afternoon activities, such as football or yoga. Basically, your fees are pretty much all-inclusive. We won't be billing you for any extra charges.
For non-funded days we charge our usual session rate. This is then added up together and divided across 11 months of the year. There is no payment due in August at Performatots, unless you would like August care, through our summer school programme.
HOW MUCH WILL I CONTRIBUTE ON FUNDED SESSIONS?
You can book a half or full day session and apply funded hours. When applying funding to your tuition fee bill, your contribution to your child's time at Performatots will be:
Full Day Sessions: £22
Half Day Sessions: £16.45
We add up all funded and unfunded sessions in the year to give you one rolling monthly amount that stays the same each month. This can help you budget and makes it easy to pay in advance on the 1st of each month.
You get the best value from your funding by booking in for the full day, but half days are an option for you, no problem at all.
If you would like to receive a personalised quote to see what your costs would be, including funded hours, please just get in touch.
Please note that if you are eligible for 2-year funding and have a 2-year funding code or Golden Ticket to use, you can access a fully funded place at Performatots.
We also offer places for eligible 3-4 year olds on a scholarship, where there are no additional contributions to pay, apart from a £3 per day voluntary contribution for meals. These scholarships are for low-income families and ensure that no child misses out on the special experiences and outstanding early education that is needed for future success. Please contact us to discuss available options if this applies to your family.
How Could I Save More?
Remember that if you apply for and pay via the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (or your workplace may operate a Childcare Voucher scheme) you save 20% by paying in this way as the government will top up your childcare account by 20%. Ie. When you put in £100, they put in an extra £20. It's like free money!
If you are on Universal Credit, you could be entitled to be reimbursed up to 85% of your bill. You will need to speak to your UC coach to find out if you are eligible and if you need any letters to support your application for reimbursement, just let us know, we are happy to help provide evidence of payment/attendance where we can.
2 Year Old Funding
2 year funding is currently only available to low-income families. Although the government have pledged to introduce funding for all 2 year olds from September 2024 - this has not yet been approved. 15 hours is the total that can be claimed for. To see if you are eligible, click below.
3 and 4 Year Old Funding Entitlement
3 and 4 year old funding is available to ALL families and you don't need to do anything other than fill in a parental agreement form from us, to access this. 15 hours is the total that can be claimed for. To see if you are eligible, click below. It's not quite as straightforward as the day your child turns 3, your childcare bill goes down! The term AFTER your child turns 3 is when you can use this. So, if your child turns 3 on the 5th January, you will be eligible to utilise funding from the beginning of the Summer term, after Easter.
30 Hour Extended Funding
30 hour funding is available to working families. If you both work and earn the equivalent of 16 hours at minimum wage, you should be eligible to apply for the additional 15 hours. You will need to apply on the HMRC website for this additional 15 extra hours and then 30 is the total that can be claimed for. To see if you are eligible, click below.
Universal Credit Childcare Element
Up to 85% of your residual childcare costs may be paid for by Universal Credit - ask your UC case worker to see if you are eligible.
Government Tax-Free Childcare
Using the governments own Tax Free Childcare (TFC) Scheme also saves you 20% on your fees at Performatots. This is similar to a childcare voucher scheme, but it's open to everyone - self employed families included. For example, you put in £100 to your tax free childcare account online and the government tops your account up with an additional £20!
Please note, that we do not allow the splitting of funding between us and another group setting, as part of a number of our policies and procedures, including our infection control, well-being and attendance policies.
We do authorise shared care with private nannys and childminders, but we don't split funding with other school or independent group provision.
You can learn more about that policy and the reasons behind it HERE.