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Pre-school provision on the Isle of Man is run by private operators.

A Pre-School Credit Scheme exists which provides for the payment of pre-school credits to registered pre-school providers for eligible children, by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC).

An eligible child is a child who is resident in the Isle of Man, has their fourth birthday during the school year (academic year) for which the credit applies and is registered with an Isle of Man Government registered pre-school provider.

Parents or carers of eligible children may apply for a credit to be used towards the cost of a pre-school placement during the academic year in which the child has their fourth birthday (the academic year being from 1 September to 31 August).

To find out if you can apply for a pre-school credit, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-24 academic school year, for children whose date of birth falls between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020.

A universal credit of £4,166 is available for each eligible child for the academic year 2023 -2024.

An 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, Sport and Culture, (DESC) at Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St John's. Forms may be downloaded from the downloadable documents section on this page or collected from Thie Slieau Whallian, St John's or the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas.

We aim to confirm approval for the universal credit award within 10 working days of receipt of the application. If your child’s birth was not registered on the Isle of Man, a copy of their birth certificate will also need to be submitted. A copy of the birth certificate can be emailed to at the time of application.

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 child day care centre or registered childminder

The pre-school credit award is allocated on a monthly basis and can be claimed a month in advance, the amount of award available for a child who attends pre-school all year round will be £347 per month. The amount of award available for a child who attends term-time will be up to £415 per month with the exception of December, April and July when up to £282 can be claimed and there is no credit remaining for August.

Year round childcare £349 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347 £347
Term-time childcare £415 £415 £415 £282 £415 £415 £415 £282 £415 £415 £282  £0

Your provider will be responsible for registering your child with DESC ('Child Registration Form' available from downloadable documents) for claiming payment from the Department for the value of the approved amount applied to the services provided. 

Any pre-school credit left over from an academic year cannot be carried over to the next academic year and payments to the registered pre-school provider will cease immediately when a child is no longer eligible.

Please see the frequently asked questions, for more information on eligibility for pre-school credit award and using the credit.

As part of the Isle of Man Government’s Childcare Strategy, DESC will be working with other Departments in Government to help improve the offer and support available for children with additional needs, exploring opportunities for outreach services and approaches for children with Complex Needs.

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