Group of young children holding up their hands in a nursery, with their teacher sitting near them.

Guidelines for Childcare Providers

Childcare Funds provide non-repayable assistance for students with children in order for them to access or continue in education and are paid in addition to any other forms of student support.

Students can apply for assistance towards registered childcare costs for scheduled classes and periods of mandatory placement. Self-directed study periods are not included.

The fund is income assessed and is available for full-time and part-time Further Education (FE) students, and full-time Higher Education (HE) students on eligible courses.

Providers should be aware that the College may not cover the full costs towards childcare costs.

Any outstanding amount is the student’s responsibility.

Please note, childcare contracts are between the student and the provider. The college will not enter into any discussions with childcare providers regarding contracts and will not take part in any disputes.

Childcare Providers FAQs

How do I know if an application has been successful?

The student will receive a childcare award letter giving the details of their award, or they will be sent a refusal letter if they were unsuccessful. The college aims to assess fully completed childcare applications within 28 days, however, this may take longer if we have to ask the student for further information. We recommend that you keep in touch with the student. If you haven’t heard an outcome by the start of the course, you can contact the Funding Team on studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk 

What happens if the award doesn’t cover the full cost of the childcare?

Where the student’s award is less than the childcare fees then it is the student’s responsibility to pay the balance. This includes any balances that arise as a result of a partial award, non-payment due to poor attendance, self-study days and any other non-timetabled provision, or overpayment (this list is not exhaustive).

Do you pay childcare for college holidays?

We will only pay for childcare during the college holidays if this a part of the student’s contract. However, we cannot pay for additional holiday club fees, or holiday provision that is outside of the student’s term-time hours. The student is required to provide proof they need childcare funds during the college holidays, such as a contract explicitly stating this, or a letter from you confirming this.

A student can apply for holiday payments retrospectively if necessary.

Do I have to provide the college with invoices?

Some of the college’s childcare processes are changing, and we will no longer be asking every childcare provider to send us childcare confirmation forms three times per year. Moving forwards, the college will only be required to check a sample of awards. The funding team will contact you directly with more information if you are selected for an award check, and will send you the form you will need to complete. 

As a result of this, providers will not be required to send us the April 2022 Childcare Confirmation form. 

If you need to tell us about a change in timetable or fees, please contact us at studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk and we will send you the necessary forms.

When will I be paid?

Payments are made directly to your bank account, fortnightly in arrears. These payments are financial assistance only, and may not cover the entire fee being charged. Payments are dependent on a student’s satisfactory attendance and progress. If a student does not meet the attendance requirement in any given week, the fee for that week will not be paid.

If the student later submits a self-certificate or medical line, missed payments will be sent as soon as possible.

View an example payment schedule.

You should ask the student for a copy of their award letter, as this will contain their payment schedule, and details of any deductions we have made from their award.

What happens if I don’t receive the full amount on the payment schedule?

This can happen if the student has not met the attendance requirement for their payment, or if they have failed to return a form on time, or if they have left their course. Please contact the student immediately. You can also contact the Funding Team at studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk 

If the student later submits a self-certificate or medical line, missed payments will be sent as soon as possible.

What happens if the student leaves?

If the student stops using your service, you should let us know immediately, to avoid or minimise any overpayment. You can contact us at studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk 

If the student leaves their course, they are only eligible for childcare funding up to their official withdrawal date with the college.

If the college makes any childcare payments beyond the date the student was withdrawn (for example due to a college holiday), we are required to raise an overpayment for this and will send you an overpayment notice.

The college cannot pay childcare funds for notice periods that extend past the student’s last day at college. It is the student’s responsibility to provide you with notice of termination in accordance with their contract. The student is liable for any cost due to you by not providing the appropriate period of notice.

Childcare funding provider general information and terms of payment

We cannot assess a student’s application for childcare funding until we receive this form fully completed, as well as a copy of your childcare contract and/or terms and conditions.

If the student’s application is successful they will be issued with an award notice. This contains their payment schedule, and unique payment reference number. Where possible, we will share this schedule with you. If you wish to see the full award notice, you should request this from the student. There is a sample payment schedule available on the college website for guidance only.

Payments are made directly to the provider bank account, fortnightly in arrears. These payments are financial assistance only, and may not cover the entire fee being charged. Payments are dependent on a student’s satisfactory attendance and progress.

Payment for College holidays will only be considered if these form part of the student’s formal contract with the provider, and the college has received the required terms and conditions/contract.

Some elements of weekly childcare fees cannot be covered – this includes, but is not limited to ‘on call’ fees, and situations where a school-term or longer-term contract is billed over the college weeks only. This means that the student’s weekly award may not match the weekly rate being charged.

The college is not permitted to duplicate funding available from other sources, such as HMRC, Universal Credit, Local Authority Funding, childcare vouchers, etc.

When students sign their declaration on their application, they agree that the College can share basic information about their award, such as the award status, amount, payment schedule, and non-payment due to not meeting the terms and conditions of award. The College cannot however provide any in-depth information, or information about the student’s personal circumstances (this includes information about the award assessment). Where more information is required, you should contact the student directly.

In situations where this form is completed in advance of the course starting, we may contact you during term time to confirm the date the provision started. The College is required to spot check a sample of awards to ensure they continue to be accurate. We will contact you for more information if your student is selected during this process. Failure to return the required information will result in the award being suspended.

The College is not responsible for the full payment of childcare costs incurred by students. The contract is between the student and provider only. Payment of childcare assistance does not constitute a contract with the College, and we cannot mediate any contractual dispute with the student.

Where the student’s award is less than the total childcare fees, it is the student’s responsibility to pay the balance. This includes any balances that arise as a result of a partial award, non-payment due to poor attendance, self-study days and any other non-timetabled provision (this list is not exhaustive).

It is the student’s responsibility to provide you with the required notice of termination in accordance with their contract. The student will be liable for any cost due by not providing the appropriate period of notice.

If the eligible days and times of the childcare provision changes, or the student ceases to use your childcare services and this results in an overpayment of childcare funding, you, the provider, will be required to repay to the College the full amount of funds they were not eligible to receive. We encourage you to notify us of any changes to the childcare provision in order to minimise the risk of overpayment (or underpayment). You can request a Change of Provision form from Student Services, or download one from the College website.

The College is not responsible for any outstanding fees incurred by the student.

Student smiling while they speak to a member of staff in the library.

Contact us

If you need any help completing your funding application please contact us:

0131 669 4400
studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk