To be baffled by nursery fees

(20 Posts)
Mandatorymongoose Sun 11-Sep-16 14:55:14

I'm sure this should not be this complicated.

DS goes to nursery, previously he has done 15 free hours only, which we managed by me and DH working opposite shifts but this has become unsustainable. The new plan was for him to start full time hours at the end of the month.

I asked nursery to give me a breakdown of how much per month it would cost, taking off his free hours. Instead they've given me the cost of 3 days a week on a post it note. Which would mean he could be in nursery 7.30-6 three days a week, and then between 9-4.30 the other two but only term time for those two days, which is not that helpful.

So, I'm trying to work it out. There's a note on the nursery info which says "council funding is paid directly to the nursery ... we average this funding and credit it to your invoice as expected payment"

If they just take whatever the council pay off my bill for the year though that means his free hours aren't free? They're nursery rate minus council rate? Which I didn't think they were allowed to do.

The nursery has different session / daily / weekly rates. So the price they've given me at the moment is daily rate *3. If I have to add another two days at the same rate during the holidays it actually works out as costing slightly more each month than if I paid the weekly rate minus the council payment and I get less hours.

I suppose another way to do it would be to pay for 37.5 hours a week at nursery rate (for 38 weeks and the 52.5 hours for 14 weeks) but which nursery rate would they use? There's almost a £2 per hour difference in cost between the session and weekly rate.

I'm just wondering how other places work this out? It must be pretty common given all 3 year olds get free hours?

AIBU to think it should just be made clear in their pricing how much it will cost me each month?

(Just to add I didn't pick him up on Friday otherwise I would have sorted it out then and I won't get chance to speak to them before Wednesday, I don't think there are any availability issues with hours or anything)

Eyedrophell Sun 11-Sep-16 15:05:46

We (I am a nursery manager) average the free hours if doing all year round, then work out monthly attendance hours, deduct the free hours and then charge for the rest at our hourly rate (which is slightly higher than the daily rate). Funded hours do not include food or anything.

It was a lot simpler when we were simply able to deduct the council contribution from the bill.

kimlo Sun 11-Sep-16 15:11:56

When dd2 was at nursery they used the funded hours but averaged it out over the year so it was I think 12 hours free a week rather than 15 but all year round, meaning my bill didnt go up in the holidays.

The granted hours are payed less but I didnt have to pay the diffrence. If I only took the funded hours it would have included food, I wouldn't have had to pay extra for that.

kimlo Sun 11-Sep-16 15:12:45

Grant funded not granted blush

Mandatorymongoose Sun 11-Sep-16 15:25:21

Hmm thanks Eyedrop- if they do that (and have an hourly rate which is even higher than the session rate) it would actually be cheaper for me to turn down free hours and him to be be full time on the weekly rate. Which doesn't seem right?

Eyedrophell Sun 11-Sep-16 15:41:25

No thats not right. Our hourly rate is 10p more per hour than our daily rate would be if divided into hourly. Think you misunderstood me

AndNowItsSeven Sun 11-Sep-16 15:46:16

Eye in our council you can deduct it from the bill £55 a week two year olds £33 for three year olds. Or two " school days" 8-3.30 lunch and snacks free for two year olds £2.50 a day for three year olds.

Eyedrophell Sun 11-Sep-16 15:51:59

Are you a provider andnow? Our council won't even allow us to attached a monetary value to the house, so our invoices can only show free hours not amount.

It's interesting how different councils police it

Eyedrophell Sun 11-Sep-16 15:52:19

Hours not house

Mandatorymongoose Sun 11-Sep-16 15:53:12

To put it in number might make it make more sense!

Session cost is just over £30 for am or pm so about 5.25 hours. That's the most expensive way to pay. Ends up as about £5.90 per hour.

If he goes full time that's 2730 hours a year. Take off the 570 free hours. 2160 hours at a cost of £5.89 per hour is £12,700 ish a year.

The weekly rate is just over £200 so considerably cheaper. So if I had no free hours and just paid the full weekly rate 52 weeks a year it would only cost me £10,500 ish.

insancerre Sun 11-Sep-16 16:08:02

This is how we work it out
Full time weekly rate x 52 ÷ 12 = monthly rate
570 x hourly rate ÷ 12 = funding d hours
Fees= monthly rate - funded hours

AndNowItsSeven Sun 11-Sep-16 16:08:40

No eye, that's just how the manager explained it to me, we have taken advantage of both options at different times.

BuffyFan Sun 11-Sep-16 16:09:26

Hmm. Our nursery had always just taken 15 hours off what my son was in for during term time - so in his case 4 days a week less 15 hours. The lady there even sat and worked out whether I was better off with that 15 hours as 1.5 days or three lots of 5 hours. Then we paid for 4 full days a week outside of term time, but if he wasn't in because we went on holiday, we didn't pay at all (this last I always felt was really generous).

They shouldn't just be taking off the funding they get, which is a lot less than they charge - you should be getting 15 hours / week during term time at no cost to you. Though I'd have had no problem with equalising that throughout the year.

nothingisnothing Sun 11-Sep-16 16:21:34

The nursery our ds attends doesn't work out an average monthly cost. They only do it daily, so it's a different total every month.
Also, for the days we have our grant sessions allocated (ds attends full time), they put on additional charges to make up the costs that they loose. In other words a weekly bill for us wouldn't be XHours per week minus 15 free hours - that would be too easy.
And if that's not baffling enough, they get their own charges wrong on my monthly invoice every time!!!! I have to really keep in top of it all.

LugsTheDog Sun 11-Sep-16 16:34:04

I think you need to go back to them for clarification. There are so many variables - whether they deduct for meals, how they deal with different hourly, daily and weekly rates. DH and I have 4 maths degrees between us and we never figured out how nursery gave us such a big discount when the free hours kicked in.

Minisoksmakehardwork Sun 11-Sep-16 16:35:51

Are you factoring in that the council don't pay during school holidays. When our dd was eligible for free hours at nursery, because she was full time including through holidays it worked out at something like 11.5 free hours every single week.

Mandatorymongoose Sun 11-Sep-16 16:38:34

Insancerre that makes the most sense to me!

Thank you

somekindofmother Sun 11-Sep-16 16:42:21

this remained a mystery throughout ds time in nursery.
getting a break down was near impossible and my friends dc attended the same nursery, doing the same hours and paid a slightly different monthly amount!
I had two meetings to go through it with the manager and never really grasped how they apply the funding. and when he dropped to 2 days I didn't even make a massive saving despite me thinking I was now using mostly free hours.

museumum Sun 11-Sep-16 16:42:26

Ours gives 9-12 and 1-4 "free" then add on breakfast club from 7:30, lunch and lunch club for the hour in the middle and "after school club" for 4-6.
In total the amount you pay for a whole day is equal to the usual day rate minus the council funding.
but then every month there are varying numbers of "term time" and non term time days. So it is complex.
Ultimately what anyone who uses at least the five three-hour sessions actually gets is the council money taken off the bill.
Personally I don't mind this. It's not the nursery's fault the scheme is unsustainable. If you genuinely want just free hours I'd advise using a school nursery.

Mandatorymongoose Sun 11-Sep-16 17:04:28

Museumum I'd be fine if they just took the money the council give them off my bill and let me pay the weekly rate tbh. That would be fine. I'm just aware they're not allowed to do it - or at least that was my understanding.

I'm a bit bothered though if the free hours end up costing me more than not having them would.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now