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Pre-school credit scheme continues 1 March 2013

THE Department of Education and Children has confirmed that the pre-school credit scheme will continue for 2013/14.

The scheme provides £350 towards the cost of pre-school to all parents of children who reach their fourth birthday between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014. An additional £800 is available those who would be eligible for free school meals – i.e. in receipt of Employed Person’s Allowance, Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The credit – which is issued in the form of a certificate – can be used with registered providers of child daycare who offer pre-school provision. Half of the total credit can be used between September 2013 and February 2014 and the remaining balance, or the whole amount, can be used between March and August 2014.

The Government’s Customer First team will continue to administer the pre-school credit scheme and application forms for the academic year 2013/14 will be available from May 2013.

Parents will be able to apply for the 2013/14 credit via the Isle of Man Government website http://cf.gov.im

Alternatively, copies of the application form will be available from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas, the DEC’s office at Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas, or by ringing 651540.

Parents who still wish to apply for credit for the current academic year can do so online via http://cf.gov.im/categories/education,-training-and-careers/pre-school/ Completed forms should be emailed to customer.first@gov.im or posted to:

Customer First

Department of Community, Culture and Leisure

2nd Floor, Illiam Dhone House

2 Circular Road Douglas, IM1 1PG.

A list of registered providers of child daycare who offer pre-school provision is available via the same weblink and from the Department of Social Care’s Registration and Inspections Service, 3/4 Hill Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1EF. Tel: 01624 642427

The website also answers frequently asked questions.

The Government-funded scheme was launched after the Department of Education and Children ceased to provide pre-school places in 2012 due to budgetary restraints. It means all children can access pre-school.

During the 2012-13 academic year, a total of 875 credit certificates have been issued to parents of children having their fourth birthday during the year. Of these, 655 certificates have been issued at the standard credit amount of £350, while 220 parents entitled to one of the listed benefits have received the higher rate of £1,150 (or a reduced amount where there is only a part-year entitlement to these benefits). The total value of certificates issued is £481,833.44.

There are currently 37 providers of pre-school education, operating 45 different pre-school facilities throughout the Island.

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