University of Oxford partnership with Kids Planet

The University of Oxford Apprenticeships Team continue to support local businesses and charities by transferring unused Apprenticeship levy funds that can be used on Apprenticeship training. This will provide huge opportunities for SMEs who do not have the necessary funds, by enabling them to recruit and train new employees or upskill existing members of their team. It is a fantastic way in which the University can support the local community and so far the Apprenticeships team has committed to transfer a total of over £500,000 of unused levy to many organisations.  

Kids Planet

The University has started to transfer Kids Planet apprenticeship levy which can be used to fund the learning for their employees on apprenticeships. This partnership with Kids Planet is a fantastic opportunity for us to support a company that provide childcare for our employees.

We asked Gill Mason at Kids Planet why the levy transfer was needed:

Due to our recent growth at Kids Planet  the transferred funding has supported 4 extra practitioners with the level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship standard. Due to the fact we are now working alongside each other and there was unused Levy Funding available it seemed a perfect opportunity to further develop the relationship and for both organisations to benefit in the development of staff that will be supporting each other as we move forward.

Helen Johnson, Apprenticeship Manager also commented on why we chose to transfer Levy to Kids Planet:

I am delighted that we have agreed a levy transfer with Kids Planet who have recently taken over the management of the University of Oxford's nurseries in July 2021 following a rigorous tender process. It is great that we are able to support a third party supplier in the development of apprenticeships that will directly impact the University.

We still have some levy spare to transfer for this financial year and we encourage you to get in contact with us at if you are interested in discussing this in more detail.

Jo Mason, who is Head of Childcare Services, shares her thoughts on the Levy transfer:

We were delighted to provide a levy transfer to Kids Planet in order to recruit more childcare apprentices. Good quality early years education is so important to a child's development and the people who care for them the most important part of their time at nursery. Kids Planet have an excellent training academy and we are proud to be able to help them train many more, much needed childcare professionals.

What the transfer has meant to Kids Planet

This has enabled Kids Planet to recruit new apprentices to support their career in early years and to ensure our workforce is qualified and competent to meet the needs of our children and families. It also ensures useful working partnerships are formed to commit to the best use of all available funding.

We are delighted that Oxford University have supported our Training Academy at Kids Planet with funding to support apprentices enabling young people to pursue a rewarding career in the early years 

- Gill Mason, Head of Training and Development at Kids Planet Training Academy

The learners

We asked Kids Planet what this meant to the employees going onto the training and how they felt. 

  • Hannah said she was excited to get going on her level 3 apprenticeship as she knows it is going to lead to bigger and better things for her future career in early years 
  • Vicky told us that she wanted to be an early year’s teacher and this apprenticeship will help her to get the qualification and skills she needs to move on to do a degree course.

About Kids Planet 

  • Kids Planet is a family-owned group of 52 nurseries covering the North West and the Midlands.
  • Kids Planet have 96 nursery settings to date and are responsible for the care and education of over 10,000 children.
  • They have over 22 Ofsted Outstanding nurseries


What is the Apprenticeships Levy?

The UK Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. The Levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in Apprenticeships. Employers in England who pay the Levy, which include the University, are able to access funding through a digital Apprenticeship service account which enables them to select and pay Government-approved training providers for Apprenticeship training. The levy is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's pay bill.
Please note: the Apprenticeship levy can only be used to pay for the training of staff with an approved training provider.

How do transfers work?

Employers who pay the levy and have unused funds are able to support other employers who are looking to receive a transfer. From April 2019, these employers are able to transfer up to 25% of their annual funds. These funds can only be used to pay for training by a Government approved training provider.


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