For childcare providers, includes how to view, accept and change agreements for Childcare Offer funded hours.
View the agreements that parents have requested
You will sign-into your dashboard and view all agreements for your setting, which will be listed under the child’s name. These requests are following offline conversations between you and the parents and the details should reflect those conversations. The maximum funded childcare hours the lead parent has requested per week during term-time and/or holiday time will be displayed.
A parent, through conversations with yourself, will enter the maximum number of hours they may wish to book with your setting in any given week in the agreement. This process is not a ‘booking system’ so the parent may not necessarily ‘book’ all those hours. For example, if your setting allows shift patterns to be accommodated, the parents may use more hours one week than the next. The claim element will allow you to enter the booked hours for each week up to this maximum amount.
Your account dashboard shows any actions for you to complete, such as accepting new agreements. You can also view the existing agreements you have in place with parents.
Each agreement has an end date after which you cannot submit claims for that child.
You may contact parents to discuss any arrangements they wish to make with your setting after the current agreement and funding come to an end.
If a parent wishes to take up funded childcare during school holiday weeks, they will need to have either a combined term time/holiday agreement or a holiday time agreement in place. If they have a term-time agreement only, settings will not be able to claim for care provided during the school holidays. As always, the parent will need to discuss availability with you prior to confirming the agreement online.
There are four holiday weeks in a year that aren’t funded by the Offer and the parent will need to tell you which weeks they wish to take as unfunded weeks. If they wish to take up childcare in an unfunded week, they must fund it themselves. For the purpose of the digital service, you should enter 0 in the booked hours column to denote this is an unfunded week. This will mean the parent’s holiday week credits will be unaffected for that week.
After submitting the first claim for a child, you can view the remaining holiday weeks credit available for individual children via the claims view. This is a live figure and may be subject to change if parents have used other childcare settings who are yet to submit a claim. Your local authority will be able to support you in determining if a particular child has any potential unsubmitted claims that may affect the amount shown.
Parents can also view their remaining holiday credits via the dashboard. This is a live figure which could be affected if any holiday weeks are yet to be claimed by the provider.
We ask providers to submit holiday week claims promptly to ensure the accuracy of these figures.
Any outstanding agreements requiring action are displayed as an alert at the top of your agreements screen. You can review agreements with a status of review which will display the agreement period, hours and start date for that child. You will have the option to ‘Accept’, ‘Reject’ or ‘Change' agreement hours.
The agreements screen will display all the agreements by child name, parent name, agreement type (term and holiday, term only, holiday only), status and action. The status are as follows:
- approved: ongoing live agreement
- ending: when a parent has cancelled the agreement and set a cancellation end date
- review: newly submitted agreements requiring your attention
- parent review: when you have made a change request to the agreement hours and awaiting the parent to review and either accept changes or cancel request
Agreement start dates
Agreement start dates can only be in the future and must start on a Monday. To ensure childcare is funded from a parent’s chosen date, parents must create and submit their agreements online before the first Monday of the funded childcare.
Accept agreements for funded hours
Your setting must accept the agreement by close of play on the Thursday of the first week of funded childcare at the latest.
On reviewing newly submitted agreements with a status of review, the summary of the childcare hours requested will be presented. The agreement request should accurately reflect the prior discussions you have had with the parent, i.e. the maximum number of hours the parent may require in any one week. To accept, simply click the accept button and a confirmation notice will appear for you and also an email notification will be sent to the parent telling them that their agreement has been accepted. The agreement will show the status of ‘approved’ on your agreements list.
Reject an agreement
On reviewing an agreement, a reject button is available. On reject, a confirmation is displayed to you and an email notification is sent to the parent. The agreement is removed from your setting’s dashboard. An email will notify the parent to sign in to the system and view the rejected application. The parent would need to contact you to discuss the rejection reasons. The parent will be credited with the childcare hours and can create a new agreement if required.
Change agreement hours before approval
On reviewing the request submitted, if the request doesn’t match the conversations the setting has had the parent, the setting should select change agreement hours and input revised weekly hours and minutes. This can only be done before accepting (or you must follow the ‘Amending an Existing approved Agreement’ process). This then sends a notification to the parent to alert them that something has changed in the agreement and to sign in to their dashboard. The request is then reviewed by parent. They cannot make any changes but they must take action to either accept the changes or reject the agreement.
Amending an existing approved agreement
If a parent wishes to amend an already approved agreement, they must discuss this with the setting first. Once agreed offline, the setting will need to update the agreement within the digital service by signing into the dashboard, selecting agreements and then selecting to view the existing agreement for the child. Here the setting can amend the existing agreement by selecting ‘change agreement hours’ and inputting the revised weekly hours and minutes, either for term time, holiday time or both. On submission of the change an email alert and dashboard notification is sent to the parent to indicate that something has changed in their agreement and prompting them to sign in to their dashboard. The parent must take action to either accept or reject the changes. In order to claim for the revised hours, the changes must be approved online by the parent by close of play on the Thursday of the week in which the changes are to take effect. Until the change is accepted by the parent the existing agreement for funded hours will continue to be available for claims. The changes will take immediate affect on parent approval. If the proposed changes are rejected by the parent the agreement continues with the pre existing funded hours.
The new hours have to be more than 0, so if a parent wants to stop accessing/cancel funded childcare for either a term time/holiday in a particular setting then the parent will need to cancel the agreement and when required create new agreements.
Parent cancels agreement
If a parent cancels an agreement, an ‘Ending’ status will show on your setting’s agreements screen and you can view the date to be cancelled for that child. The parent is cancelling the Childcare Offer funding. The parent is still liable for any costs associated with contractual notice periods you may have with them.
Change in parents' circumstances
There may be times when a parent becomes ineligible due to a change in their circumstances. In these cases, the parent may be placed into a Temporary Exemption Period (TEP). From 4 weeks before the end of this period, the parent's agreement with the childcare setting will be shown on the setting's dashboard as 'agreements ending' alongside the reason, such as 'TEP expiring'. During this period parents may still submit evidence to the local authority to restore their eligibility.
The TEP is not designed to be a notice period for the child attending. It is a notice to the setting that funding will end unless the parent can prove they have become eligible for the Childcare Offer again. The parent is still liable for any costs associated with contractual notice periods that you may have with them. The parent may continue to access childcare on a self-funded basis.
Difference between Childcare Offer for Wales agreement and business contracts
The agreements process within the digital service only relate to Government-funded childcare. They will not cover any additional childcare you have agreed to provide to the parents and will only cover children eligible for the Childcare Offer for Wales and not to other siblings who are not eligible for the Offer.
The terms and conditions within the digital service only relate to the Childcare Offer for Wales. If you have other terms and conditions that parents have to agree before sending their children to your setting, these will need to be agreed outside the digital service.