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Childcare Offer for Wales funding clarification/Y Cynnig Gofal Plant i Gymru a thaliadau ychwanegol

Darllenwch hyn yn Gymraeg yma. Read this in Welsh here.

The Welsh Government have provided guidance on queries raised by the sector about the rate paid for the Childcare Offer for Wales and additional charges that may be charged by settings to parents. 

The subject of additional charges and the interpretation of the associated guidance has been a topic of conversation over the last few months. 

What does the guidance say?

Applying additional charges for food, transport and off-site activities

The current national Childcare Offer rate under the pilot of £4.50 per hour covers childcare only and excludes charges for food, transport and other activities such as off-site activities which incur a cost (for example day trips). If a childcare provider would usually charge more than £4.50 per hour for childcare, they cannot charge parents an additional hourly amount to top-up the rate under the offer. However childcare providers are able to charge parents for additional elements such as food, drink, transport and off-site activities which incur a cost. Childcare providers must take account of the Welsh Government’s guidelines in respect of setting additional fees, when charging parents for additional elements of care. 

These guidelines state that parents should not be charged more than £7.50 for food for a full-day session with a childcare provider, or £4.75 for a half-day session.  No specific guidance is given on charges for transport and off-site activities as these will vary depending on the location and nature of a childcare provider and the activities undertaken. 

The Welsh Government have made it clear that childcare providers should not impose any additional charges on parents accessing the Childcare Offer for any elements over and above the costs of actual childcare if they do not also impose charges for those elements on parents who are not accessing the Childcare Offer.

For example, if a childcare provider doesn’t charge parents who are not accessing the Childcare Offer for food as a separate item then they cannot charge parents accessing the Childcare Offer for food separately.  Confusion has arisen where settings do include a charge for food as part of the service they provide but the charge for the cost of the food is combined in with their standard hourly, half-day, full-day or weekly rate and is not shown separately on contracts and invoices.  Welsh Government guidance, which PACEY Cymru supports, would be for settings to be clear on contracts and invoices on all rates and separate out additional charges from their hourly, half-day, daily or weekly rates.  This then ensures a fair and consistent approach for all.

Charges for when a child accesses early education provision in another school/setting.

The same approach applies where childcare providers are not delivering early education, but are holding a place open for a period of time while a child attends an education setting, as part of a wrap around service. If this is a charge that is clearly applied to all families and is noted on contracts and invoices in recognition of the need to hold the place, Welsh Government have confirmed that this would be funded by the Childcare Offer.  This would be an individual business decision for a setting to make based on their normal charging structure, marketing, sustainability and availability of a place.  If the place is not available while the child is accessing the early education setting (for example is filled by another part time child) this would not be able to be charged for.

Parents wanting more hours than Childcare Offer funds

There are many parents who wish to access more than 30 hours of combined childcare and early education a week.  In those circumstances it is a matter for the individual childcare provider to set an appropriate funding rate for those hours or days.  Again having a fair and consistent charging rate for this, that is clear on contracts and invoicing, will ensure an open approach with families and a clear audit trail for those funding services. 

Things to consider

  • Be fair and consistent in your approach- ensure you have the same model for additional charges for all families regardless of whether they are being funded through Childcare Offer or are paying privately.
  • Think about your marketing- the inclusion of many additional charges may not make your setting as attractive to parents so keep things simple where you can.
  • Record keeping is key- within your contracts and invoicing be clear on how the place is being funded and separate out additional charges from your hourly, half-day, daily or weekly rates.  This then makes it clear what is being charged and how this is funded.

PACEY Cymru have produced some examples to show how charges could be applied in practice so support childminders in Wales specifically on this complicated issue.  These have been shared with Welsh Government too for their agreement.  Please email paceycymru@pacey.org.uk to request a copy of these examples. 

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi rhoi arweiniad pellach ynglŷn â’r ymholiadau a godwyd gan y sector o ran y gyfradd a delir ar gyfer y Cynnig Gofal Plant i Gymru a thaliadau ychwanegol y gallai sefydliadau eu codi ar rieni. 

Mae’r taliadau ychwanegol a’r modd y caiff canllawiau cysylltiedig eu dehongli wedi bod yn bwnc llosg yn y misoedd diwethaf. 

Beth ddywed y canllawiau?

Codi tâl ychwanegol am fwyd, cludiant a gweithgareddau oddi ar y safle

Mae cyfradd bresennol y Cynnig Gofal Plant yn genedlaethol o £4.50 yr awr dan y cynllun peilot yn talu am ofal plant yn unig, ac nid yw’n cynnwys bwyd, cludiant na gweithgareddau eraill megis gweithgareddau oddi ar y safle y mae angen talu amdanynt (e.e. teithiau dydd). Os byddai darparwr gofal plant fel arfer yn codi mwy na £4.50 yr awr am ofal plant, ni all godi swm ychwanegol fesul awr ar rieni i gael cyfradd uwch dan y cynnig. Fodd bynnag, gall darparwyr gofal plant godi tâl ar rieni am elfennau ychwanegol megis bwyd, diod, cludiant a gweithgareddau oddi ar y safle y mae angen talu amdanynt. Rhaid i ddarparwyr gofal plant ystyried canllawiau Llywodraeth Cymru o ran gosod ffioedd ychwanegol, wrth godi tâl ar rieni am elfennau ychwanegol o ofal. 

Mae’r canllawiau hyn yn nodi na ddylai rhieni dalu mwy na £7.50 am fwyd ar gyfer sesiwn diwrnod llawn â darparwr gofal plant, neu £4.75 am sesiwn hanner diwrnod. Ni roddir canllawiau penodol ar daliadau am gludiant na gweithgareddau oddi ar y safle oherwydd gallai’r rhain amrywio yn dibynnu ar y lleoliad a natur y darparwr gofal plant a’r gweithgareddau a wneir. 

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi’i gwneud yn glir na ddylai darparwyr gofal plant godi unrhyw daliadau ychwanegol ar rieni sy’n manteisio ar y Cynnig Gofal Plant am unrhyw elfennau yn fwy na chostau gwirioneddol gofal plant os nad ydynt yn codi’r taliadau hynny am yr un elfennau ar rieni nad ydynt yn manteisio ar y Cynnig Gofal Plant.

Er enghraifft, os nad yw darparwr gofal plant yn codi tâl ar rieni nad ydynt yn manteisio ar y Cynnig Gofal Plant am fwyd fel eitem ar wahân, yna ni allant godi tâl ar rieni sy’n manteisio ar y Cynnig Gofal Plant am fwyd ar wahân. Ceir ychydig o ddryswch lle mae sefydliadau’n cynnwys tâl am fwyd yn rhan o’u gwasanaeth, ac yn cyfuno’r tâl am gost y bwyd â’r gyfradd fesul awr, hanner diwrnod, diwrnod llawn neu wythnosol, ac nid yw’n cael ei ddangos ar wahân ar gontractau ac anfonebau. Mae canllawiau Llywodraeth Cymru, y mae PACEY Cymru yn eu cefnogi, yn annog sefydliadau i nodi eu cyfraddau’n glir ar gontractau ac anfonebau a gwahaniaethu rhwng taliadau ychwanegol a’u cyfraddau fesul awr, hanner diwrnod, diwrnod llawn neu wythnosol. Bydd hyn yn sicrhau bod pawb yn defnyddio dull teg a chyson.

Taliadau ar gyfer plentyn sy’n manteisio ar ddarpariaeth addysg gynnar mewn ysgol/lleoliad arall.

Mae’r un dull yn weithredol pan nad yw darparwyr gofal plant yn darparu addysg gynnar, ond yn cadw lle ar agor am gyfnod wrth fod plentyn yn mynychu lleoliad addysg, yn rhan o wasanaeth cofleidiol. Os yw’r tâl hwn yn cael ei godi’n glir ar bob teulu ac wedi’i nodi ar gontractau ac anfonebau i gydnabod yr angen am gadw’r lle, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cadarnhau y byddai’n cael ei ariannu gan y Cynnig Gofal Plant. Byddai’n benderfyniad busnes i’r sefydliad yn unigol yn seiliedig ar ei strwythur tâl arferol, ei farchnata, ei gynaliadwyedd a’r lleoedd sydd ar gael. Os nad yw’r lle ar gael wrth fod y plentyn yn manteisio ar leoliad addysg gynnar (er enghraifft, caiff ei lenwi gan blentyn arall yn rhan amser) ni fyddai modd codi tâl amdano.

Rhieni sydd am gael mwy o oriau nag y mae’r Cynnig Gofal Plant yn eu hariannu

Mae nifer o rieni’n dymuno manteisio ar fwy na chyfanswm o 30 awr o ofal plant ac addysg gynnar yr wythnos. Mewn amgylchiadau o’r fath, y darparwr gofal plant yn unigol fydd angen gosod cyfradd cyllido briodol am yr oriau neu ddiwrnodau hynny. Eto, bydd cyfradd codi tâl deg a chyson ar gyfer hyn, sy’n glir ar gontractau ac anfonebau, yn sicrhau dull agored gyda theuluoedd a thrywydd archwilio clir ar gyfer y gwasanaethau ariannu hynny. 

Pethau i'w hystyried

  • Byddwch yn deg ac yn gyson - dylech sicrhau eich bod yn defnyddio’r un model o ran taliadau ychwanegol ar gyfer pob teulu, ni waeth a yw’n cael ei ariannu drwy’r Cynnig Gofal Plant neu’n talu’n breifat.
  • Ystyriwch eich marchnata - mae’n bosibl na fydd ychwanegu llawer o daliadau ychwanegol yn gwneud eich sefydliad yn ddeniadol iawn i rieni, felly cadwch y cyfan yn syml os yw’n bosibl.
  • Mae cadw cofnodion yn allweddol - o fewn eich contractau a’ch anfonebau, byddwch yn glir o ran sut y caiff y lle ei ariannu a gwahaniaethwch rhwng eich taliadau ychwanegol a’ch cyfraddau fesul awr, hanner diwrnod, dydd llawn neu wythnosol. Yna bydd hyn yn egluro’r hyn y codir tâl amdano a sut mae’n cael ei ariannu.

Mae PACEY Cymru wedi llunio rhai enghreifftiau i ddangos sut y gallai taliadau gael eu codi’n ymarferol i gefnogi gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru yn benodol mewn perthynas â’r mater cymhleth hwn. Mae’r rhain wedi cael eu rhannu â Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd ar gyfer eu cytundeb.  E-bostiwch paceycymru@pacey.org.uk i wneud cais am gopi o’r enghreifftiau hyn.