Published: 30 Mar 2022  |  Category: Education  |  Stage: We have welcomed a family

ESOL Childcare Fund

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 renewed the ESOL Childcare Fund for 2024/2025 and is now inviting bids. For this financial year, funding has been allocated to support projects and expenditure which can enable refugees to participate in English language training. 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. The fund is also open to Local Authorities and SMPs (and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland).

Community Sponsorship groups who have welcomed families through the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) can apply for this funding. Funding has also been allocated for families who arrived into the UK through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme.

For the fair assessment of funding bids submitted by Local Authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and Community Sponsorship groups, an assessment criterion has been developed.

The key deliverable is:

  • Total number of individuals accessing ESOL, who would not otherwise be able to.

Bids will be assessed based on the following assessment criteria:

  • Identification of need: identification of those the project will benefit, the barriers this will address and whether alternative forms of funding are suitable or have been exhausted.
  • Outcomes: How will the proposal enable access to ESOL? Is delivery feasible and will costs be kept to a minimum? Have relevant risks to delivery been identified.

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 Home Office will assess bids and share the details of awarded funds with Local Authorities, including guidance on claiming.

The Home Office have shared that multiple bids can be submitted. Provision that meets the fund criteria can be bid for retrospectively, however, please do note that such delivery will proceed with the risk of not securing funding if it is assessed by the Home Office as not meeting the fund criteria.

Bids should be made by the deadline of 21st June, to [email protected]. The Home Office will assess bids promptly after this date and share details of awarded funds (and guidance on claiming) within three weeks.

For further information on the funding eligibility criteria, please see the below attachment ‘ESOL Childcare Fund Assessment Criteria’ and ‘ESOL Childcare Fund FI’. 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 [email protected]


ESOL Childcare Fund FI 24-25 [31KB] Download .DOCX

ESOL Childcare Funding Assessment Criteria 24-25 [33.9KB] Download .DOCX

ESOL Childcare Funding Bidding Template 24-25 [43.8KB] Download .DOCX