Early learning and childcare: statutory guidance - July 2021
Statutory guidance to education authorities to support them in exercising their functions in relation to the delivery of early learning and childcare from 1 August 2021.
Admissions policies and cross boundary arrangements
182. Education authorities can put in place admission policies to ensure they meet their statutory duty to secure the statutory entitlement to funded early learning and childcare for children within their area.
183. It is expected that for many education authorities their admissions policies will include cross-boundary arrangements. Under Funding Follows the Child the choice of setting available to families is not restricted to their own local authority boundary. Therefore families should be able to access their child's early learning and childcare entitlement at any setting that meets the National Standard, has a space available and is willing to enter into contract with the education authority. Education authorities should, wherever possible, make arrangements that ensure families accessing cross-boundary placements are treated on the same basis, for example in the timeframe for providing a decision, as families accessing provision within their local authority area.
184. It is recommended that a cross boundary no charging policy is implemented uniformly by education authorities.
185. It is recommended that education authorities meet on a regional or neighbouring basis to identify movement and places across boundaries and reach sustainable and mutually beneficial arrangements.
186. Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard For Early Learning and Childcare Providers: Transition Options Guidance on Contracting provides additional guidance, for where a procurement process will be undertaken, on education authority contracting arrangements with settings in the private and third sectors where there are high levels of cross boundary places.
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