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9.5 Children's Disability Service - Provision of Childcare for Working Parents of Children and Young People with Disabilities


This chapter details Disabled Children's Access to Childcare (DCATCH) for children and young people with a disability.


Childcare Act 2006

Children Act 1989

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

Safeguarding Disabled Children and Young People - Inter-agency Practice Guidance


Pathway to Provision - Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance


In January 2016, this chapter was extensively updated and should be re-read throughout.


  1. What is DCATCH - Individual Home Based Packages?
  2. For whom is DCATCH intended?
  3. Referral and Assessment Process
  4. Monitoring and Review

    Appendix A: Referral Pathway

1. What is DCATCH - Individual Home Based Packages?

1.1 Nottinghamshire County Council supports the inclusion of Disabled Children and young people in mainstream childcare settings. To this end, pre-schools, day nurseries, childminders, out-of-school and holiday clubs providing services for children and young people with disabilities, can apply for financial support to help meet the additional needs of children and young people attending their settings. (Please see Eligibility Criteria – DCATCH Support for settings).
1.2 However, a small number of Disabled Children and young people are unable to access group childcare. Nottinghamshire County Council aims to meet the childcare needs of these children and their families through Individual Home Based Packages of childcare which, for school age children, will wrap around their education and reflect normal school hours.
1.3 Families supported with Individual Home Based Childcare Packages will pay the local rate towards the cost of childcare which has been identified as £3.50 per hour per child in Nottinghamshire. Childcare costs over and above this will be met by the Local Authority. Families are responsible for any additional costs for activities, travel, admission etc for both their child or young person and the childcare worker supporting them.

2. For whom is DCATCH intended?


The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  2.1.a Children/young people must live and access services in Nottinghamshire.
  2.1.b Children/young people must be aged 0 to 18 years and, if over the age of 5, in full-time education (accessed up to their 18th birthday). In the financial year that a young person turns 18 the support will only be given up to the end of the school term in which the young person turns 18.
  2.1.c Parents must be in employment, returning to work or attending a vocational training course. In the case of two parent families this applies to both parents (see below for further information relating to family circumstances).
  2.1.d In consultation with the family it must be agreed by the Brokerage Manager that the child/young person is unable to access group based care due to their complex and/or health care needs, or their age and stage of development.


The following conditions relating to family circumstances will also apply:

  2.2.a Support will reflect the working or training patterns of the parents, for example; part-time hours, term time only, etc.
  2.2.b For parents attending vocational training, support will normally be limited to a single course or one year of study, whichever is shorter.
  2.2.c Support for children and young people whose parents are on long term sick leave will be considered by the DCATCH Brokerage Manager and, if necessary, the Short Breaks & Personalisation Service Team Manager. Any funding agreed will be reviewed on a monthly basis; normally for a maximum period of 6 months.
  2.2.d Children/young people must access childcare provision from providers registered with Ofsted or CQC (Care Quality Commission).
  2.2.e Eligibility for individual home based care will be agreed in consultation with the family and must be confirmed by the Brokerage Manager before engaging a childcare provider.
  2.2.f Childcare support will be provided for a maximum of 48 weeks per calendar year and, reflecting the working or training patterns of the parents, will usually take place on weekdays between 8am and 6pm. However, consideration will also be given to reasonable travel time from work to home and parents’ individual work patterns. The scheme does not cover night shifts.
  2.2.g DCATCH does not contribute towards childcare costs for children unable to attend school due to health reasons or because they have been excluded.
  2.2.h All children and young people with disabilities within a family may be eligible to receive DCATCH.
  2.2.i Where a parent chooses to stay at home the working parent will not be eligible for DCATCH.
  2.2.j Exceptional applications will be considered on a case by case basis by the DCATCH management team.

3. Referral and Assessment Process


How is the scheme accessed and reviewed?

Access is via the Short Breaks and Personalisation duty point 01623 433226.
3.2 Referrals are accepted from families (self-referral) and from professionals.
3.3 On receipt of a referral the DCATCH Personalisation Officer will:
  3.3.a Assess the childcare needs of the child or young person in partnership with the parents/carers
  3.3.b Identify the childcare package needed in line with parent/carers work or training
  3.3.c Identify the appropriate providers and support the family to make an informed choice about the service they receive
  3.3.d Set up the specialist childcare package and act as an on-going link between the family and the provider
  3.3.e Review and monitor the delivery of the service within the agreed timeframe.

4. Monitoring and Review

4.1 The DCATCH Brokerage Manager is responsible for monitoring the quality of the service provided to the child/young person and their family.
4.2 Childcare packages will be reviewed on a regular basis. Parents must notify DCATCH of any changes in the child/young person’s circumstances or the working or training patterns of the parents. We reserve the right to request parents consent to seek professional or specialist advice to inform our decisions.

Appendix A: Referral Pathway

Click here to view Appendix A: Referral Pathway.