Funding for the Early Years and Childcare Entitlement

Suspending and removing the funded entitlement in Bolton Council

In accordance with the Department for Education Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance Bolton Council should rely solely on the Ofsted inspection judgement of the provider or the childminder agency as the benchmark of quality.

Bolton Council cannot continue to fund provision where there is substantive and well evidenced concerns regarding providers which:

  • Do not actively promote fundamental British values or if they promote views or theories as fact which are contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations
  • Do not meet the quality criteria as specified within the 2017 statutory guidance relating to Early Education and Childcare
  • Are providing two year old funded childcare and have been graded ‘satisfactory’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted
  • Have been’ inadequate’ by Ofsted
  • Have received the Ofsted inspection judgement of ‘not met’

It is the decision of Bolton Council of what is an appropriate timeframe to withdraw funding. It is Bolton Council’s duty to ensure they consider the continuity of care for children already receiving funded childcare, monitoring information about the provision. It is the duty of Bolton Council to take appropriate action to improve the quality of the provision at a maintained school which has been judged by Ofsted to require significant improvement or has been places in special measures.

Please see the following page a flowchart of the processes involved when a setting receives the grade ‘requires improvement’, ‘inadequate’ or ‘not met’.

If a provider has been graded as ‘inadequate’, the Local Authority will send out a letter to all parents to inform them of the outcome.

Flowchart for Suspension and Removal of Early Education and Childcare Funding  

Flowchart for suspension and removal of early education and childcare funding

Appeals Process

Providers wishing to appeal against the Local Authority’s decision to remove them from the directory must notify Bolton Council of the intention to appeal within 14 calendar days of the date of the letter. Providers should send their appeal letter to Start Well: Strategic Lead for Early Years, Bolton Council, Harvey Start Well Family Hub, Shaw Street, Bolton BL3 6HU.

Following receipt of a letter of appeal, the procedure for the withdrawal of a provider from the directory will be halted pending the outcome if the appeal. Bolton Council will notify the provider within 14 calendar days, of a date for an appeal hearing and the procedure and format of the appeal process. At this time the provider will be asked to submit any written evidence to support their appeal.

The provider will be invited to attend the appeal hearing to make representations and will be entitled to bring appropriate representatives agreed in advance by the Chair.

Evidence from the provider and from the Local Authority will be circulated to all parties, including the appeals panel 14 calendar days before the appeal date.

A panel of three that will be chaired by Chair of Early Years Sub Group of Schools’ Forum and include Bolton Council officer, (not involved in the original decision to remove the provider from the List of Providers), and members of Early Years Sub Group of Schools’ Forum, will review the decision through a panel interview using supporting documentation, where appropriate, within 35 calendar days of receiving the appeal.

The provider will be notified of the appeal panel’s decision within 5 working days.

CFE appeal process arrow

If a provider wishes to object to the appeals decision, it will then be taken as a complaint towards the Local Authority and be treated as such by progressing it through Bolton Council’s Complaints Policy . The appeal decision will stand and be implemented whilst the complaints procedure is underway.

If a provider is dissatisfied with their treatment under this appeals procedure, they may make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (see Complaints Procedure section for contact details) after the full appeals procedure with Bolton Council has been exhausted.  

Closure or sale of a business

In the circumstances where a provision is being sold to somebody else, the previous owner is required to resign their registration with Ofsted in writing. For further information, please see the Early Years and Childcare Registration Handbook.

It is advised that the provider informs Bolton’s Strategic Finance Unit to inform them of the closure/sale of a business:

Strategic Finance Unit
1st Floor
Town Hall
Victoria Square