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3 yo at CM - do we qualify for 15 hours free per week?

(16 Posts)
HSMM Sun 13-Jan-13 22:47:35

Ask her. Not all CMs can offer funded spaces (many through no fault of their own).

hackneybird Sun 13-Jan-13 22:32:38

Aaah...this is where I don't really understand the system properly. My DS currently goes ft and I was hoping the cm could just deduct the 15 hours per week from the weekly total she charges me during term time.

It looks as though that would never work. I'll still ask her though, you never know. She's def ofsted registered.

RosieGirl Sun 13-Jan-13 18:57:09

I am accredited to give the 15 hours early years funding. It means I have to be a good or outstanding childminder, have a level 3 NVQ, and ensure I meet the standards required by the local authority, I have extra inspections by my DO and fill in extra paperwork.

I am NOT allowed to top up, it is in my contract and I would loose my funding if I did. This is not allowed to ensure that ALL children can gain at least 15 hours of nursery education from 3+, if some nurseries charged more it would not be equal for all children, if parents cannot afford it they may not be able to access it. My local nursery recently got into trouble for charging extra. Instead they now charge a large fee for an extra hour hour in the morning, lunch club and and extra hour in the afternoon, so parents if they wish can just do 3 hour sessions, but if they want to link the sessions up they are charged extra.

Tanith Sun 13-Jan-13 18:46:08

It used to be that top ups could be charged and there were all sorts of ways that settings could get the parents to make up the shortfall.
Like Hackney, many of them understood and didn't mind.

The problem was that parents who can't afford to pay top ups were then prevented from taking up their free places.

HSMM Sun 13-Jan-13 17:48:25

When accepting accreditation you will have probably agreed to not charge a top up. The 15 hrs must be free. (My other hours are slightly more expensive).

MrAnchovy Sun 13-Jan-13 17:26:35

"Mr A, how is it enforced? Who is the controlling authority?"

The Department for Education are the controlling authority and are responsible for enforcement.

The (last) government decided that it would be law, in this case, to allow local authorities effectively to tell providers what they can charge.

hackneybird Sun 13-Jan-13 17:08:52

I would be perfectly happy to pay the extra hours outside of the 15 free.

Thanks for the input, everybody.

Tanith Sun 13-Jan-13 17:07:40

I offer it. Top ups are a much bigger problem with the preschools and nurseries round here. They usually put it in their newsletters that they'll have to close if they don't charge the top up.

I do agree that all settings who can't abide by the regulations should withdraw. Perhaps then something will be done about those councils who are reallocating the funding to other areas and forcing settings to subsidise the shortfall.

insancerre Sun 13-Jan-13 16:49:39

then maybe childminders shouldn't be in the scheme then akasa
The scheme is so that all children can have the best possible start in life, and early years education is one way of narrowing the inequality gap.
Children are entitled to 15 hours free nursery education when they are 3 (from the term after their third birthday)

Akasa Sun 13-Jan-13 16:44:10

As always, I appreciate your advice and knowledge. However, many childminders I know insist on charging the top up otherwise they simply will not take the child - no one should have to work for less than their published rate irrespective of what subsidy the government wants to put in place. Mr A, how is it enforced? Who is the controlling authority? Yet another childcare scheme from HMG that doesn't quite work. If it were to be enforced around here probably 20% of minders would disappear! A medium sized nursery nearby has stopped offering subsidised places from the beginning of 2013.

There are too many things telling childminders how to run their business - what they should charge for and what they shouldn't etc. etc. It is for the childminder alone to decide.

fudgesmummy Sun 13-Jan-13 16:35:23

you won't embarrass yourself if you just ask her if she is accredited thats all you need to know!!!!!

MrAnchovy Sun 13-Jan-13 16:32:45

"They seem to think it is free childcare"

That's because it IS free childcare, you are not allowed to charge a top-up; if you want to offer it you must accept the rate paid by your local authority.

Akasa Sun 13-Jan-13 16:26:59

If your childminder offers the facility then yes. I do not personally offer it as the grant I would receive falls significantly short of my rate and parents seem puzzled when I ask that they top up the amount to meet my shortfall. They seem to think it is free childcare and not just a grant towards the cost whatever that might be in the area - it is subsidised care.

Quite a few childminders I know who have gone through the accreditation process have become disillusioned and do not now offer the subsidised places preferring instead to try and get mindees outside the scope of the subsidised places.

wednesdaygirl Sun 13-Jan-13 15:17:31

Accreadited childminders take the grants i do smile

Its the term after their 3rd birthday so will be january

I have children for 15 hrs only so its completely free for the parents to srnd them to me

Schooldidi Sun 13-Jan-13 15:03:05

My cm doesn't offer it. In fact I will not see any reduction in my childcare billwhen dd2 gets her 15hrs funding because we will still have to apy for her to have a full time place with the cm.

hackneybird Sun 13-Jan-13 15:00:59

My ds was three in October. I haven't put him into a nursery yet as we are moving to a new area a few miles up the road in a few weeks and so I want to move him to nursery once we have moved.

As he is entitled to the 15 hours per week, is this something my childminder would offer or is it only available through nurseries and pre schools?

I wanted to check here before I ask her (and potentially embarrass myself!).

Thanks all. X

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