Covid-19 Early Years Update

Early Years Update - Family Pandemic Support Payments  (Published 22 June)

Family Pandemic Support Payments of £100 will be paid in alignment with the Scottish Government’s announcement in March 2021.

This summer and again this coming winter, payments will be made to eligible children and young people who are in receipt of free school meals. 

Payments of £100 will be made for each eligible child or young person in receipt of free school meals due to low income or qualifying benefits.

Children and young people receiving free school meals based on universal provision (currently P1 - P3) are not eligible.

We will continue to make the payment for all those children in Early Years who are entitled to free school meals through the eligibility criteria, but not those who receive the universal provision.

If you have younger children, you may also be eligible for the Scottish Child Payment. If you have not already done so, you can find out more including details of how to apply on the Scottish Child Payment page on mygov.scot website

If the child or young person has already applied and been in receipt of School Clothing Grant payment for the 2020-2021 academic year, there is no need to re-apply,

The summer payment will be made automatically by bank transfer to the account we currently have on file.

If your bank details have changed since you received the Spring payment, please contact the Council as soon as possible: either phone 0300 1234510 or email customerservices@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

If your child or young person is not currently in receipt of free school meals but may be eligible, you can still apply. Please ensure you apply for the 2020/21 academic year to be eligible for the summer 2021 payment.

Summer Payment Dates

Parents of all eligible children and young people who have applied for and have been awarded free school meals for the 2020/2021 academic year by 31 May 2021 will receive their payment by 25th June 2021.

Parents of eligible children and young people who apply for and are awarded free school meals for the 2020/2021 academic year before the deadline of Friday 25 June 2021 will receive their £100 payment by end of July 2021.

Proposed payment dates for free school meals to cover the Summer period as follows-

  • By 25/06/2021:  £100 plus £4 per day for the period from Friday 25/06/21 to Friday 09/07/21;a total of £144 per eligible child.
  • By 09/07/2021:  £4 per day for the period Monday 12/07/21 to Friday 23/07/21;a total of £40 per eligible child
  • By 23/07/2021   £4 per day for the period Monday 26/07/21 to Tuesday 10/08/21,a total of £48 per eligible child

Winter Payment Dates 2021/22

The winter pandemic support payment is available to eligible school age children and young people awarded free school meals for the 2021/2022 academic year.  Please ensure you submit your application for the new academic year to qualify.

Parents of all eligible children and young people who apply for and are awarded free school meals before 22 December 2021 will receive a winter family pandemic payment.

Parents of all eligible children and young people who apply before 30 November 2021 will receive their payment by 22 December 2021.

Parents of all eligible children and young people who apply after 30 November 2021 and before the deadline of 22 December 2021, will receive their payment by the end of January 2022.

Early Years Update - Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers (Published 8 April) 

The third round of funding from the Scottish Government's Temporary Restrictions Fund opened on Wednesday 7 April 2021 and will close on Tuesday 4 May 2021. 
 
This funding will target support specifically to the school age childcare PVI sector in the light of prolonged restrictions on their services due to coronavirus (COVID-19). 
 
Like Round 2, Round 3 of the Fund has two elements, a standard Temporary Restrictions Fund (TRF) support grant and an additional restart grant. Eligibility for the grants are as follows: 
 
  • All open school age childcare services will be able to access a support grant for each week in which they were open over the period 1 March to 26 March. The size of the grant will vary depending on the registered capacity of settings and how many weeks the setting was open. 
     
  • All registered school age childcare services, whether open or closed, will also be able to claim a one-off additional restart grant based on their capacity, to support reopening following the end of restrictions. This includes settings with combined early learning and childcare and school aged children services and larger childminding settings (registered to care for 12 or more children) which also remained restricted until 15 March.

How to apply 

Although the scheme is administered by Councils you will need to register and apply on the bisaccount.Scot website where you will find full details on eligibility and the application process. If you have several premises, you must make individual claims for each of them. 

Early Years Update - Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers (Published 12 March)

The second round of funding from the Scottish Government's Temporary Restrictions Fund is now open and will close on Thursday 1 April 2021.

There is now an additional support grant element for all children’s day care services, out of school care providers and childminders registered as caring for 12 or more children at a time.

  • This additional support will be available irrespective of whether childcare providers were able to open in February or not.
  • Settings that have remained continuously closed throughout the restriction period are eligible for the additional payment.
  • There are no additional eligibility checks for the payment of the Additional Support Grant.
  • All settings which are closed will only need to demonstrate that they are a registered day care of children service, or a registered childminder with a capacity of more than 12 children at a time.

How to apply

Although the scheme is administered by Councils you will need to register and apply on the bisaccount.Scot website where you will find full details on eligibility and the application process.  If you have several premises, you must make individual claims for each of them. 

Early Years Update (published 16 February 2021)

Following today's announcement by the Scottish Government of a full return to early years by pre-school children, East Dunbartonshire's centres are preparing to welcome their children back.

From Monday 22 February all pre-school children should return to their Early Years Centre as normal.

Please note that there is no change to the wider 'Stay at Home' regulations that came into effect on Tuesday 5 January 2021. Today, the Scottish Government announced that those restrictions will remain in place until at least the start of March with the usual fortnightly review due Tuesday 02 March. To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible.

Early Years Update - Temporary Restrictions Fund for Childcare Providers (Published 16 February 2021)

Childcare providers in East Dunbartonshire have until Monday 1 March 2021 to apply for funding from the Scottish Government's new Temporary Restrictions Fund.
 
The fund aims to support:
  • Providers of daycare for children (operating at any registered capacity)
  • Childminders currently providing childcare to 12 or more children
  • Out of school care providers
who remain open to provide care for vulnerable children, children who are eligible for a funded 2 year old place and the children of key workers during this period of temporary restrictions.

How to apply

Although the scheme is administered by Councils you will need to register and apply on the bisaccount.Scot website where you will find full details on eligibility and the application process. If you have several premises, you must make individual claims for each of them. 

Early Years Update - Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers (Published Thursday 3 September 2020)

Childcare providers in East Dunbartonshire have until Friday 9 October 2020 to apply for funding from the Scottish Government's new Transitional Support Fund for Childcare Providers.

The fund aims to support childcare providers who have incurred additional costs by making changes and adapting their services to be able to open safely in line with public health guidance in response to Covid-19.

Funding, paid as a one-off grant, is available to providers in the private, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors, including out-of-school care providers and independent providers, to meet extra costs such as:

  • Increased cleaning
  • Investment in additional equipment and developing outdoor space to enable more outdoor learning
  • Adaptations to support the physical distancing of adults in settings (eg. changes to entrance and exit areas, additional signage, etc).

Grant amounts will vary according to the size of the childcare setting and will be based on Care Inspectorate registered capacity.

How to apply

Although the scheme is administered by Councils you will need to register and apply on the bisaccount.Scot website where you will find full details on eligibility and the application process.

The deadline for applications to the Transitional Support Fund is Friday 9 October 2020.
 

Early Years Update (Published 5 January 2021)

Stay at home regulations came into effect on Tuesday 5 January 2021 following an announcement by the Scottish Government on Monday 4 January 2021.  As part of that guidance, early years centres will only open for children of key workers and vulnerable children during January. 

Key Worker Provision  

Places will be allocated if parents meet the following criteria:

  • Both parents (or 'the parent' in the case of a single parent) are/is in the key worker category as defined in the Scottish Government Guidance; AND
  • Are required to attend their place of work i.e. are not working from home; AND
  • Have no other childcare options.

Children should attend for their normal sessions and the usual fees will apply.

Informal childcare is now permitted unlike during the previous lockdown. The following advice from the Parent Club may be useful to parents.

An Application Form has been provided and early years centres will allocate places. Your child’s early years centre will confirm with you if a place has been allocated. You should complete the attached form and email it to the early years office. The email addresses can be found from the Early Years webpage How to apply.

Early Years Update (Published Wednesday 12 August 2020) 

From August 2020,  there will be a new and enhanced cleaning regime within our schools and early years centres in response to Covid- 19. Read this leaflet to find out more about what we are doing to help keep everyone in our educational establishments safe.
 

Early Years Update (Published Monday 3 August 2020) 

Following confirmation on Thursday 30 July that the change in Scottish Government guidance had resulted in an increase in capacity in Early Years centres and that the Early Years allocation in East Dunbartonshire could increase from 750 hours, the following Frequently Asked Questions have been prepared to provide additional information.

Early Years Update (Published 30 July 2020)

Following today’s (Thursday 30 July) updated Scottish Government guidance in relation to Early Years, the Council has been able to increase capacity across its Early Years Centres and is now able to deliver 940 hours of early years provision.

This is nearly 200 hours more than the original planned provision of 750 hours and 340 hours more than the current statutory requirement of 600 hours.

Work will progress on this increased allocation in line with requests for additional hours from the original allocation which need to be made by 31 July.

1140 hours will continue to be provided in the pilot 1140 hours early years centres (Auchinairn Early Years Centre, Hillhead Early Years Centre, Lennoxtown Early Years Centre and Twechar Early Years Centre) and all those currently eligible for 1140 hours can still apply for this provision.

Planning continues for the reopening of Council Early Years Centres on 10 August (12 August for term-time centres) following the revised Scottish Government guidance.

Subject to capacity at individual centres, the Council is working to provide flexibility across allocations where requested.  This flexibility will include consideration of half days and blended placements across more than one provider now that guidance permits this approach.

The review and processing of requests for additional hours will be carried out as quickly as possible now that increased capacity has been established.  Confirmation of revised allocations will be issued to parents/carers as soon as possible from week beginning Monday 3 August.

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated Monday 20 July 2020)

In response to a number of questions being raised following our Early Years Update on 2 July, we have prepared these Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Early Years Update (Published 2 July 2020)

The Council has confirmed that planning is continuing for the reopening of Council Early Years Centres on 10 August (12 August for term-time centres) following the Scottish Government guidance published on 15 June.

Capacity has now been established at the Early Years Centres, with children in consistent small groups and distancing maintained between groups and between adults at the centres. Having established capacity the Council has confirmed that it will be able to deliver 750 hours of early years provision, 150 hours more than the current statutory requirement of 600 hours. Our Pilot 1140 hours Centres (Auchinairn Early Years Centre, Hillhead Early Years Centre, Lennoxtown Early Years Centre and Twechar Early Years Centre) will continue to deliver 1140 hours.

The allocation of 750 hours will be confirmed to parents early next week with information on our approach to planning. Specific allocations will be issued week beginning 13 July to meet our mid-July commitment for this, ahead of the scheduled reopening of centres on 10 August (12 August for term-time centres), subject to confirmation from Scottish Government.

Early Years Update (Published 18 June 2020)

Following the Scottish Government publication this week of further guidance on the reopening of Early Years Centres, we are progressing our planning for both local authority centres and our funded providers. We will provide more information on these plans over the next few weeks and would plan to let parents know the outcome of their applications in mid July. 

All updates will continue to be published on this webpage and we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as our planning for the safe reopening of our early years centres progresses.

Early Years Places (Published 1 June 2020)

An update on Early Years places and the reopening of Early Years Centres will be issued later this month, once further guidance has been provided by Scottish Government. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging times.

Childcare continues to be provided for the children of key workers and those who need support in our Early Years Hubs. Hubs have been established across Early Years, Primary and Secondary sectors for childcare provision during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Food Vouchers

The Council is providing food vouchers for those in receipt of free Early Years meals (with the exception of the universal provision in our pilot 1140hrs Early Years Centres.) If you are eligible and have not yet applied the application process is here:

Application Process – Early Years

Our application process for Early Years Free Meals required parents/cares to attend one of our Community Hubs, with the completed form (available in the Early Years section of the website) and with the evidence of their eligibility. This is not possible as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) and we have therefore created an online application process.

The eligibility criteria for this are broader than for School Clothing Grants/Free School Meals and so it is a separate application form. Early Years Free Meal entitlement excludes the universal provision being made in some of our Early Years Centres through the 1140 hours pilot. 

You can claim Early Years Free Meals for nursery aged children with the following criteria:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £6,900
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Those aged two or over who are (or have been at any point since turning two) either looked after by a Local Authority, the subject of a Kinship Care Order or a child with a Parent or Appointed Guardian.

You should complete the Early Years Free Meal application form here:
 


Once your application has been verified and while our Early Years Centres remain closed, you will receive a Food Voucher.
You should make an application if:

If you are eligible for Early Years Free Meals (excluding the universal provision in our pilot 1140 hrs centres) but have not yet applied.

If your circumstances have changed and you are now eligible for Early Years Free Meals (excluding the universal provision in our pilot 1140 hrs centres), you should apply for the benefits you are now entitled to and once you are in receipt of these, you can make an application to be eligible for a Food Voucher.

For those parents/carers who we have information on our system that they receive Free Early Years Meal entitlement and have already provided the proof of entitlement, a voucher should have already been issued.

If you are currently in receipt of Early Years Free Meals (excluding the universal provision in our pilot 1140 hrs centres) but you have not yet been issued with a Food Voucher, please ring 0300 1234510 and provide your name and contact number and the name of your child/children, the Early Years Centre they attend and if possible, the date you received your award. We will investigate and get back to you.

Early Years Payments

Following the Government guidance that all schools and Early Years establishments should close from Friday 20 March, we have been putting measures in place to address the consequences of this requirement.

There is no expectation for fees to be paid while the centres are closed. 

No invoices will be issued for the next session, and Direct Debits are in the process of being suspended. We will restart contracts when the current measures are lifted and the centres re-open. 

We are in the process of calculating everyone's account up to the closure of the centres on 20 March and will advise of the credit/debit status of your account once this work is completed.

Thank you for your understanding as we implement these measures at this unprecedented time.

Early learning and childcare expansion (1140 hours)

You may be aware that the Scottish Government has removed the deadline of August 2020 for councils to deliver 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare.

This decision has been take to support all councils, including East Dunbartonshire at a time when we are on an emergency footing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, diverting all available resources to provide essential services.

In East Dunbartonshire, we were already delivering additional hours of early learning and childcare to families in our four pilot areas and this model was enabling us to plan for the wider expansion throughout the area. Pausing this for now enables us to focus on supporting the people of East Dunbartonshire through this worrying and unsettling time.

A further update will be provided once normal services resume and once a revised timescale can be finalised. Thank you for your understanding and support at this challenging time.

Please Note: The application forms for additional hours are not yet available. A further update will be published on this page and publicised on social media as soon as they are available.

Emergency Childcare provision for Keyworkers

Emergency childcare arrangements are available for parents/carers who are key workers with no safe alternative childcare available. Full details and the application process for a place at one of our Early Years locality Hubs can be found on the Covid-19 Schools Update webpage:

www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/council-democracy/covid-19-school-update