The Afghan Resettlement (Education) Grant
This information is for Afghan refugee families with a child aged 2, 3 or 4 and those supporting these families.
Assessing eligibility of Afghan arrivals under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Programme (ARAP) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)
15 hours free early education entitlement for 2-year-olds
The eligibility criteria for the 2-year-old entitlement can be found in full here: Help paying for childcare: Free education and childcare for 2-year-olds - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Children are eligible for the 2-year-old entitlement if the parent(s) is/are claiming one of the below:
- Income Support;
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA);
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
- Universal Credit, and the household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments;
- Child Tax Credit and the household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax;
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit;
- The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).
Children are also eligible if they:
- are looked after by a local authority;
- have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan;
- receive Disability Living Allowance;
- have left care under an adoption option, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
Some children in households that have ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) are also eligible. These households comprise those where the parent(s) are receiving asylum support and:
- have claimed asylum and are waiting for a decision;
- have been refused asylum in the UK
Or where the parent(s) cannot claim benefits due to their immigration status, and:
- is a Zambrano carer;
- has leave to remain with no recourse to public funds on private or family life grounds (known as Article 8);
- the child is a ‘child in need’ (under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989).
If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:
- £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
- £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.
Universal 15 hours free early education for all 3- and 4- year-olds
All 3- and 4-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours free early education. This is not dependent on parental income or immigration status. More information can be found on Help paying for childcare: 15 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Afghan families can access universal 15 hours free early education in the same way as other households and only need to show proof of the child’s age.
30 hours free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds
An additional 15 hours free childcare (also known as ’30 hours free childcare') is available to eligible working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds.
The full 30 hours free childcare eligibility can be found at 30 hours free childcare - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). To take up this entitlement, one parent, or both parents in a two-parent household, must:
- have recourse to public funds; and
- expect to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at National Minimum/Living Wage and under £100,000 per year.
In a two-parent household, if one parent is working and one is in receipt of certain benefits (Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance), both will be treated as in work and will be eligible to apply for 30 hours free childcare.
Afghan families should apply for 30 hours free childcare through Childcare Choices, providing they meet the eligibility criteria for the 30 hours entitlement as set out above. If found eligible, they will receive their 30 hours code in line with normal applications for 30 hours free childcare. The childcare codes have to be reconfirmed every three months.
Proof of age
Settings may require a parent to provide proof of age for the child before allowing them to take up a place, but this should not prevent the local authority from carrying out an assessment of eligibility.
Where a parent is unable to provide evidence of the child’s age, ADCS publishes guidance for local authorities on how to determine the age of a child:
Securing provision for children taking up the early education entitlements
Children in Afghan families who have resettled in the UK will be entitled to the free hours from the term after both of the following conditions are satisfied:
- the child has attained the age of two, three or four years of age; and;
- the child or parent meets the eligibility criteria (for the 2-year-old entitlement and 30 hours free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds).
If a parent approaches a local authority for a 15 hour place and it is already the term following the child’s second or third birthday then the child will be entitled to a place immediately. In order for a child to access the 2-year-old entitlement, the parents also need to meet the eligibility criteria. In order for a child to access a 30 hours place, they will be able to do so the term following the child turning three, provided they have successfully applied for a 30 hours code the term before taking up a 30 hours place.
Once a 2-year-old has taken up their place, they are eligible to continue receiving that place until the point when the child becomes eligible for the universal entitlement, regardless of if the parent’s circumstances change.
The free entitlement for 2-year-olds and universal entitlement for 3- and 4-year-olds equates to 15 hours of funded early education for up to 38 weeks of the year. Parents may choose to stretch their entitlement over more than 38 weeks (and up to 52 weeks). This means taking fewer hours per week, subject to a maximum of 570 hours a year. They cannot take more than 15 funded hours per week.
Once a parent is in receipt of a 30 hours free childcare code, they will be able to access a 30 hours place in the following term. The childcare codes have to be reconfirmed every three months
Who to contact for more information:
Suffolk Family Information Service
Tel: 0345 60 800 33