As you welcome and support families into your communities, one of the key areas of focus will be the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Adult members of the family are required to attend eight hours of ESOL classes per week. We realise that physically attending these classes isn’t always easy – and even more so if you have young pre-school children and limited access to free or affordable childcare.
In recognition of the fact that delays to language learning can significantly impact on the integration and self-sufficiency of families (particularly, women in families), the government has opened up the ESOL Childcare Fund for bids for 2022/2023. Community Sponsorship groups are encouraged to apply for this funding in order to allow the parents of young children to access childcare facilities so that they can more easily attend ESOL classes.
Community Sponsorship groups can welcome families through the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). For this reason, the Home Office has allocated a funding pot of £600,000 per each resettlement scheme, specifically for ESOL childcare (separate funding has also been allocated for families who arrived into the UK through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme). Groups who welcomed families through the previous resettlement scheme, the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), can also apply for this funding.
Community Sponsorship groups are asked to submit project bid proposals, explaining how much they need in funding and what it would be used for. Once a group’s bid proposal is accepted, then your group will be awarded a percentage of the requested funds. The initial deadline for applications was 29th April 2022, however, further bids related to unforeseen circumstances or unexpected arrivals can be made at a later point during the year, subject to funding still being available. The Home Office will assess bids and share the details of awarded funds with Local Authorities, including guidance on claiming.
For further information on the funding eligibility criteria, please see the below attachment ‘ESOL Childcare Fund Assessment Criteria’. In addition, please find below the ‘ESOL Childcare Fund Bidding Template’, which your group may use to apply for the funding.
Any queries regarding the ESOL Childcare Fund can be directed to ESOLChildcare@homeoffice.gov.uk