Children starting school in September 2021 will be entitled to their 15-hours of States funded preschool per week from this autumn, with parents reminded they need to apply for it now.
The allowance is available to all children for the academic year before they start school, providing their family's household income is below £150,000.
The placement is to ensure every child has access to Early Years education the year before they start their reception year at school, and the 15 hours can be taken at any pre-school or nursery in the island.
Ruth Sharp, Lead Officer of the States Early Years Team, said the 15 hours help gives every child a good start at school.
“Access to high quality early education enables children to develop healthy foundation skills and knowledge that will support their healthy cognitive, social and physical development," she said. "Much of their future learning doesn’t just build on these early foundations but it depends on it. A child’s earliest years shape their future and the Preschool Education Funding enables all children access to this vital opportunity.”
Each term, providers have a deadline for claiming the funding, and the States cannot guarantee it can provide the free hours if a child has not taken up a pre-school place by this date.
The hours under the scheme can be taken flexibly, with a maximum of eight in one day, and they can be used across two providers. The basic offer, however, is for three hours a day, five days a week, or five hours three days a week.
To claim the free hours, parents can speak directly to the pre-school or day nursery, who will ask them to complete a Parent Declaration Form. These forms can also be found online HERE along with information about which providers offer the preschool funding.
The Pre-school Education entitlement is provided free at the point of delivery, meaning that providers cannot charge parents for any part of their free hours.
If parents want more than 15 hours Free Pre-school Education per week, there will be a charge from the providers for all of the additional hours taken with them at their own hourly rate.
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