Childminders and the ELC Expansion
Funding Follows the Child was due to be introduced in August 2020 alongside the statutory roll-out of 1140 hours of funded ELC entitlement. Funding Follows the Child is 'provider neutral' and is underpinned by a National Standard that all settings wishing to offer funded ELC – regardless of whether they are in the public, private or third sector, including childminders – will have to meet. This places choice in parents' and carers' hands as to where their child can access their ELC entitlement.
Interim Guidance published in July 2020 highlighted that, in light of the impacts of COVID-19, it was no longer feasible to set a national requirement for all funded ELC providers to meet the National Standard from August 2020. However, it is expected that local authorities will continue to use the principles and criteria of Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard as a framework to shape local funded ELC delivery.
Funding Follows the Child provides an opportunity for more childminders to offer the funded ELC entitlement, and as we progress towards full national implementation we will continue to identify how to support childminders to meet the National Standard and to raise awareness of childminding as an option for funded ELC.