Early years assistance: consultation on the Best Start Grant regulations
This consultation asks questions on whether the draft Best Start Grant regulations will help to improve children’s wellbeing and life chances.
Section 5 – Schedules 2 and 3
45. Schedules 2 and 3 follow the same pattern as the first schedule but with the relevant dates and amounts for the payments.
Nursery and Early Learning Grant - £250
46. For the Nursery and Early Learning Payment, the application window is the day of the child's second birthday to 6 months after its third birthday. The long nursery and early learning window is to capture the two common ages for starting nursery, depending on whether parents qualify for a funded nursery place when the child is 2 or 3. This means that parents can choose to apply for their payment when their child starts nursery. There is no requirement for the child to take up a place at nursery and where the family's decision is not to do this, the payment can be taken up at a point relevant to their child's development and any other childcare arrangements.
School Age Grant - £250
47. There is no requirement to take up a place at school to qualify for the payment. For the School Age Payment the application window is the 1 st of June in the year that the child would ordinarily start school (start of Autumn term) until the end of February in the year following the date of ordinarily starting school. While it will not suit every case, we do not propose to vary the dates for the school payment where a parent decides to defer the school start date. This would add a further layer of complexity. Where a school place is deferred, the child must be registered in the year in which they would ordinarily start school. This means that the parent will be made aware of the grant and will be able to access it, perhaps to support early learning in the additional pre-school year.
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