Pre-school Credit Award
Parents or guardians of children resident in the Isle of Man may apply for a credit to be used towards the cost of a pre-school place during the academic year in which the child has their fourth birthday (the academic year being from 1 September to 31 August).
Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-18 school year, for children having their fourth birthday between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018. Applications may also still be made for the current school year (2016-17), for children having their fourth birthday between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017.
There is a universal credit of £1,700 for parents of qualifying children, but parents also in receipt of Employed Person's Allowance, Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance may be entitled to the higher rate credit of £2,150. Note, however, that receipt of a pre-school credit at the higher rate might affect the amount of benefit payable and you may wish to clarify your position with the Social Security Division of The Treasury.
Application for a pre-school credit award can be made by completing the online application process. Alternatively, a paper application form can be completed and submitted to the Department of Education and Children ('DEC') at Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas. Forms may be downloaded or collected from Hamilton House or the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas.
We aim to confirm approval for the universal credit award within 5 working days of receipt of the application, but approval for the higher rate credit award may take a little longer due to the requirement for these to be validated by Social Security.
Once your application has been approved, you will receive a letter confirming the amount of credit that has been awarded. This letter includes a tear-off slip that should be completed and handed in to your chosen registered provider.
You should agree with the provider how much credit is to be applied to your invoices for each billing period. Up to one half of the total credit can be used in the first half of the year (September to February) and any remaining balance, up to the full amount, can be used between March and August.
Your provider will be responsible for claiming payment from the Department of Education and Children for the value of the approved amount applied to the services provided.
Please see the frequently asked questions, for more information on eligibility for pre-school credit award and using the credit.
The DEC will be working with private and voluntary run pre-school providers to support their ongoing development and improvement through its Early Years Quality Mark.