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Short Breaks Flexible Offer Update – COVID 19

Until 30th June 2021

In these current exceptional circumstances we would like to offer families some flexibility to the standard Short Breaks offer, we will be allowing families the opportunity to purchase equipment that promotes play and creativity so that they are able to continue supporting the development and stimulation of their child or young person.

Based on the recent feedback and concerns of parents and carers, we have reviewed our offer Short Breaks offer during COVID.

Your funding allocation for 2021/22 will be raised from April (this will cover 1st April 2021 – 31st March 2022). You will receive a first payment of £250 to cover April – June. Your 2nd payment will be in July. However, if you spend your money before then and/or require more of your allocation to pay a carer or purchase a block of sessions, please contact the team and we can arrange this for you.

Because of the impact of COVID it was agreed that for the first time this money could be used flexibly to buy equipment and toys to promote play and creativity and provide activities in the home where funding could not be used as normal.

This flexible offer will be extended 1st April – 30th June 2021. You can use up to £250 to buy equipment that promotes play and creativity. We do however encourage you to pay for activities and services in the community where possible, if they are open and running safely.

From July onwards your money should be used to pay for social and leisure activities or a carer. If you are continuing to shield after June, please contact the team and we will review how you can use your funding on a case by case basis.

If you use a Provider​ but cannot access your sessions as normal, you can instead choose an Individual budget which will be a maximum of £880 (or £440 if you have a social care package) to spend on services of your choice, this includes paying a carer and flexibility to buy play equipment from April – June. Please contact the team so we can arrange this.

We would ask that where a single item is going to cost over £250 in Short Breaks money, you do ​email the team first for approval ​of this via phone 020 8356 6796 or email ​​. Where emails are sent, we will make a commitment to respond within two working days.

We are happy for parents to top up payments for an item with their own money if there is an item that is more expensive and you require it to meet your child’s individual needs. For instance, if you have £250 of Short Breaks funding available for purchasing items and something costs £300, then you can top this up with £50 of your own money.

Please take care to only use the money to buy items that are allowed. As this might delay future payments and you could be asked to pay the council back.

Please remember that once you spend your allocation for 2020/21, no further money will be provided until 1st April 2021. We do therefore want parents to be thoughtful about buying expensive items if this may leave your child without money to fund activities, between January and March which includes February half term.

In brief:

  • Those receiving full payments can spend up to £250 on play and activity items between 1st April and 30th June 2021;
  • If a single item is going to cost more than £250 (and will be purchased purely with Short Breaks money), this requires approval from Short Breaks
  • Parents can top up costs for items over £250 (this does not require approval).
  • You can still use your funding to pay a carer and for entry to activities
  • If you require more than £250 from April – June to pay for service please contact the team who can raise an additional payment.
  • You must email the team a receipt of your Covid related purchase, this is required for audit purposes.

Ideas of how to spend your IB money

(these are examples from other families using Short Breaks)

  • Trampoline – for indoor and outdoor
  • Bike / specialist adaptable Bike
  • Scooter
  • Apple Watch (to monitor fitness and exercise)
  • Arts and Crafts materials
  • Board Games
  • A carer or family friend to take my child out
  • A taxi or train ticket to the seaside
  • Nintendo Wii / Switch
  • Playstation
  • Headphones / Earbuds
  • Remote control car
  • Microphone / Karaoke system
  • Tablets to play games and communicate with friends
  • Apps for my Tablet – games, art, photography Apps
  • A weekend at Kench Hill ​(
  • Stereo or other music system
  • Building blocks
  • Sewing Machine
  • Weighted blanket (helps anxiety)
  • Swimming and paddling pools
  • Puzzles
  • Books including sensory books
  • Musical Instruments
  • Lego sets
  • Camera and printer – to take photos when outside and print out
  • Garden play equipment such as a slide or playhouse
  • Sandbox
  • Seeds and gardening equipment to grow a vegetable patch
  • Strawberry picking
  • Visit to the Zoo
  • Sensory toys and equipment such as soft play
  • Online virtual Cooking classes – Max £30 to buy Ingredients to use for the online class (Individual receipt required)
  • One to one sessions for sports

What can I NOT buy?

You cannot use the funding to purchase the following

  • any subscription services such as Sky Television, Netflix, etc
  • any large electronic items (televisions, treadmills)
  • any white goods
  • any household furniture
  • items for home repair or home improvements such as paint
  • items for siblings
  • educational/tuition services
  • food, drink, from Supermarkets, Deliveroo, UberEats etc
  • Fuel
  • Animals/pets
  • Clothing

If you would like to discuss your purchase with a member of the team please call 020 8356 6796 or email ​ for a call back.