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(674 Posts)
ladymuckbeth Fri 31-Aug-12 23:24:10

Here we go. More unexpurgated chat about our darling angels, all of whom are gifted and have exceptionally calm and admirably-coping parents.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 31-Aug-12 23:28:54

grin so boutique spa type hotel research Mucky?

Off to bed, another long drive tomorrow smile

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 10:28:08

Something like that LVB grin

Actually I phoned the nursery on our road which I've REALLY wanted the girls to go to yesterday and it turns out they have spaces for the girls to attend 2x days per week starting in October (she thinks; is phoning to confirm on Monday).

It's sent me into a bit of a headspin and is interfering with my boutique hotel research because according to their website the fees for children pre-age 3 are just £4 per day less than over the age of 3. Given that where they are now, they will be entitled to 4 mornings and one whole day FREE from January, I'm a bit concerned - surely this can't represent the reduced price after the childcare 'vouchers' or whatever they are that start from age 3??? Annoyingly my research is proving fruitless, can't find any references to it online. I know from talking to others that when they offer you a place you have to decide really quickly so they can then offer it to someone else (on the vast and now closed due to oversubscription) waiting list so I want to have my decision ready when she calls. Bah.

It's a strange set up because in any other situation I think I'd definitely opt to stay where we are. But this nursery is

a) a 30 second walk from home
b) goes up to age 7 so once there they'd stay, all being well
c) almost every child in the very close vicinity goes there and I am desperate for the girls (and me) to make some friends since we've arrived late to the party on that front
d) everyone I know whose children go there speak very highly of it, say they can't fault it, and it has a reputation for being a relaxed and happy place

Phew, had to get that off my chest. Will see what I can find out...

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 10:28:48

Sorry meant the prices for age 3+ are £4 less...

tartiflette Sat 01-Sep-12 10:55:51

I would just ask her mucky. My (limited) understanding is that the 'free' hours start the term after they turn 3 and are paid for by the state so to speak so it makes no difference how expensive the nursery is, and it's not the nursery themselves who are offering it for free iyswim... Ignore if this makes no sense or you've already covered this, have only skin read as am in car half having a discussion about how to smuggle a bottle of fizz into the race ground grin

tartiflette Sat 01-Sep-12 10:56:52

skim read ffs

AtLongLast Sat 01-Sep-12 14:11:25

Yes, thanks for sharing that Kate. I know I was really scared of pnd, esp after seeing a 'not the type' friend suffer badly. Really brought it home how it can get anyone & I consider myself v lucky to have escaped.

Yup, was pretty silently mad with dp about the wristband, esp considering we'd had a discussion about leaving it on. Got ils here at mo & mil agrees & insisted we get another. So, I'm having a cuppa in peace while they all safari... then wristband saga will recommence grin.

Not sure our nursery costs change at all when they turn 3 ladym & haven't looked into how the 'free hours' thing works. Cos our 2 decided to go to term+ we missed the cut-off for summer term funding so will be paying full costs til Sept next year.--Not that that is relevant, nor am I bitter grin --

Friend's dd was 2 last week of March tarti so qualifies for summer term funding too. We had to smile slightly about the toilet training since she had her to Dr at same time worried that she never wees cos she doesn't drink much hmm. Do think they have cracked it tho.

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 16:01:54

But how can that be ALL - the nursery bit I mean. I so do NOT get it. From age 3 (or yes, the start of the term after they turn 3) you are meant to be entitled to 15 hours of nursery education per child per week. Surely this must make a difference to the cost? confused

tarti you are right I need to speak to the woman, I just wanted to be ready with our decision when she calls. From research I think we will be entitled to those 15 hours (during term time) and the nursery deduct it from your monthly invoice (or something). Still not clear really and certainly not specifically with our nursery.

AtLongLast Sat 01-Sep-12 17:37:09

Ah yes, sorry - meant the nursery don't charge less per hr when they turn 3. So if it's £40 per day now, it will be then too. Difference is just who pays. So gov will pay the 15 hrs and we top up to pay the rest so yes, overall costs will be much reduced to us. Tis my unresearched undwrstanding. Dunno how it works for diff priced nurseries? If 15 hrs regardless it a ceiling cost per hr?

LaVitaBellissima Sat 01-Sep-12 17:40:34

In Liverpool so will be quick, the nursery the girls are going to you get a discount per term from the term after they turn 3, This is a private nursery and it's quite a big saving, I'd just ask Mucky, if you can afford it, I'd choose that nursery, it sounds perfect smile

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 17:41:00

I have no idea, I think I may have been panicking because I am so keen for them to go there, but there's no WAY I can justify paying through the nose for it when it becomes free for them to stay where they are in January.

Having said that, a local pre-prep/nursery doesn't "accept" or deal with or whatever the correct phrase is the free hours thing, so you pay full whack for them to go there - I guess the main reason people do that is to guarantee getting their children into the school bit, which is quite competitive. It's a bloomin' minefield!

KateShmate Sat 01-Sep-12 17:42:05

Oh, ha ha ha! I have just left a long comment on the last thread! Didn't realize this one had been started properly yet wink

KateShmate Sat 01-Sep-12 17:54:36

ALL I literally cannot wait to find out whether your DS is obsessed with this wrist band too grin !!

Mucky That nursery sounds bloody perfect, but I totally know what you mean about finding it hard to justify paying all the money. Our nursery is the same with the funding - they have always said from Day 1 that they don't offer the free 15 hours. We're keeping DTrips there for 1 day a week, and they then get their free 15 hours at their new pre-school starting next week.
We found it hard too because their nursery is just lovely and so accommodating to their needs, it is a very homely environment and I love it; but then the preschool is attached onto the primary school that DD1 and DD2 go to, and hopefully DTrio, so they are virtually guaranteed a place to Primary, which is quite hard to get in to - especially 3 of them.
Obviously the Preschool is crazily busy and I've had DTrips names down for ages - often they will offer 1 place, or rarely 2, but I refuse to send 1/2 and leave the other 1/2 at nursery. They said that it was incredibly unlikely that all 3 will get in in September, so we are extremely pleased that they have smile Feels like we have finally got our foot in the door!
I do like the pre-school, but its so different from the Nursery we're used to.

AtLongLast Sat 01-Sep-12 20:34:59

Early indications are that wristband v2 is at least as loved as v1. He possibly may be more obsessed given the disappearance of v1 despite his care. Dp already offered to remove.... growled 'leave it on' was the response. He'll have grandma to answer to if he chops again - he has been warned lol.

<waves to Lavita> Wine & gin just opened here but you're prob close enough to sniff that grin

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 20:44:25

Wine and gin ALL. Not in the same glass I hope wink I'm at the tail end of an alcohol free week - shock - am aiming to keep it that way until we go on holiday. If I manage a month off the booze it will be the first time in a ridiculously long time I'll have done something so stupid like that. We went to Peckham fete today, which was simultaneously amusing and lovely, and bumped into a friend who was nursing the mother of all hangovers. As he staggered around walking his little dog with bloodshot eyes, I felt magnificent in my sobriety - small recompense for the fact I spent most of last night rabidly ogling other people's drinks whilst out for dinner.

Thanks all for the thoughts re nursery.

I have another question, if anyone can answer them. Cerub - you may know this one. What are these childcare vouchers or tax credits? Do both parents need to be working in order to qualify?

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 20:44:52

PS: Cerub - hope your mum continues to be on the mend and that you've all had a better day.

AtLongLast Sat 01-Sep-12 21:23:00

Reading my previous posts I'd guess it was all in the same glass. I am, however, just on my phone trying and failing not to look too antisocial. We are such lightweights on alcohol these days. Had a couple of glasses of red last weekend but I struggle to remember when we had any before that. Partly cos dd is still in with us but mainly cos every time we go for it we end up having an awful night with the boys & it seems like more hassle than it's worth. Ils just bought us Bombay sapphire today tho - yum. But I forgot so had wine first.

We have childcare vouchers & they are salary sacrifice thru work. So, buy vouchers before tax is taken and exchange for childcare (tho we haven't yet cos we're saving ours) & I think it works out giving us £70 'free' per month due to tax savings. Don't do tax.credits. Isn't that the one dependent on income that people end up being under & overpaid if on variable income.

ladymuckbeth Sat 01-Sep-12 21:33:05

Thanks ALL - enjoy your evening smile Interesting that they may be retrospective. Because we were out of the country for so long I feel completely out of the loop with these things. DH has his own company as he is a contractor, so I don't know whether these things still apply.

tartiflette Sat 01-Sep-12 23:19:59

Yes tax credits are dependent on income. God I'm too old for hen dos as it turns out. Also, my feet bloody hurt.

ladymuckbeth Sun 02-Sep-12 09:51:16

Yes, by tax credits I think I meant childcare vouchers or this pre-taxed salary 'donation' thingie...

I'm FAR too old for hen nights tarti. Although I've always been a bit of a po-faced attendant of them if I'm honest blush

ladymuckbeth Sun 02-Sep-12 10:06:47

PS: have been looking on the Pre-school education board here on MN and think I've found the answer to my question, in that IF they partake of the scheme then the government pays something like £4.47 per hour for up to 15 hours a week. In theory the nursery are NOT ALLOWED to charge you 'top ups' for the price per hour, but it seems in practice many of them do, or get around their higher fees another way.

Reading on that board, I can't BELIEVE the different prices that are charged for nurseries. I know that's pretty obvious at the upper end of the scale, but the LOWER prices charged at pre-school age is incredible - one that I read on there charges £8.75 for a 3 hour session! shock I'm amazed that it's possible to cover your costs charging that kind of money.

The other thing I discovered is that apparently in order to get your whole 15 hours of 'free' EY education, it used to have to be spread over a three day period. So you couldn't have them in for two days and effectively have it be free. But as of Sept 12 this is changing, although the govt recommendations seem to be a 'suggestion' that the nursery allow it to be taken over two days rather than a compulsory change.

Since at the moment we're looking at having them in for 2 days (until I get that magic job I haven't yet applied for or even heard of) I imagine we will get a discounted rate, rather than it being entirely free.

As you were grin

Cerubina Sun 02-Sep-12 12:18:53

News on my mum is not brilliant. She has a perforated gall bladder and the doctor really doesn't want to have to operate as it seems to be quite messy in there and he could do more harm than good. So we are waiting to see if the mega-antibiotics that they're giving her help it all calm down and then the doctor will recommend at what stage she has the gall bladder out. It won't be a keyhole op apparently so will be quite a big deal for her. I'm pretty worried and she is only just being allowed to eat anything now (hasn't eaten anything since about Thursday lunchtime, so that can't help with strength). But on the plus side she is getting more respite from the pain and this morning seems to be doing better according to the doc.

I'm back at home again now as of last night, since my Dad is feeling much more on top of things and has lots of friends and neighbours who can help out if he needs food or anything. Luckily got the MIL staying (that would be a sarcastic 'luckily') who I have requested H gets out of the house as much as possible to avoid Doing My Head In.

Mucky, I don't know if I have quite caught the gist of it all but my understanding with nurseries is that you get up to 15 hours free per week and can split them between two providers if you want to (and if they will both offer them). You can't use all your hours on a two-day-a-week basis, only 3 days+, and each session that you are using them for must be at least 2.5 hours long.

The nursery will charge what they normally charge (say £60 per day) but your invoice will show the net of that after the 15 hours have been deducted.

You said that your current place is offering you 4 mornings plus a whole day? That sounds well in excess of 15 hours.

I was thinking, if this local nursery is offering you two days only, is it an option to keep them at the other place for an extra day so you get to use all the hours up and you still get your foot on the ladder with the local place?

First question for the local nursery would be whether they participate in the 15 hours scheme, and if they don't then you can weigh up what combination of days and places works out best for you financially (it might be cost effective to pay 2 days at the local place and take 15 hours in some combination at the current place)?

Maybe if you have to make your mind up straight away, it is best to accept the place and then hold off as long as you can on paying the deposit. If you accepted and then pulled out they couldn't do much about it.

As for childcare vouchers, these are not universal and depend on whether your employer offers them. I should say you don't have them as your H is self-employed. As ALL said, it's a salary sacrifice thing that allows you to buy £243 of childcare per month at a cost of 60% or 80% depending on your income tax rate, as you don't pay tax on that amount of your salary.

The tax credits are only relevant if you have lower income and are Government-awarded.

Well done for getting through a hen night in any form tarti. I hope the head is not too bad today, and same for LVB and ALL! Glad to hear that DS1 is still keeping up his Phil Mitchell impression when it comes to 'offers' to remove the wristband. Love him.

ladymuckbeth Sun 02-Sep-12 14:27:54

Cerub - first of all, so sorry to hear that about your mum. It sounds as though she is getting good care, although difficult to hear that it's not a clear case of 'she's got X, let's do Y straight away to resolve it'. Poor thing too, not being able to eat... I agree, it doesn't help in terms of feeling robust. Will be thinking of you all and hoping the anti-b's work their magic.

Re. the nursery - crikey, I hadn't thought about utilising both places. You're right, the current Surestart place is offering 4x morning and 1x 'whole day' which amounts to 4x 2.5 and 1x 6 (although not sure if it includes the lunch break between morning and afternoon session; might have to pay for that which would make it add up to 15hrs).

Pros of that set up - girls get into a daily routine, setting them up for school
Cons - not particularly convenient for me and we are 'tied' to being in London/at home every day of the week

All in all, it's great that we've been (in theory) been offered a place at the local one. Have been feeling increasingly "left out" <brandishes tiny violin> because EVERY mum I meet in the playground here asks straight off "so your girls must be at the Villa then?" and are surprised to hear not. But they only do full days, and a minimum of two days per week. All will unfold this week methinks...

We've been for a swim this morning, and as ever made it to the pool just 40 minutes before it closes. One of these days we will be organised!

ladymuckbeth Sun 02-Sep-12 14:34:28

PS: LVB and Cerub - shall we arrange an Army museum date regardless? It works better in Autumn anyway as it's an indoor activity. It's a bit odd the way the ticketing system works because I think they only 'release' something like 10 tickets online, 3 days beforehand. The remaining tickets you can get on the door when you turn up but risk having to queue and/or being disappointed. Last time I went the woman who worked there told me they are experimenting with different systems because you used to be able to buy all the tickets online, but the local Chelsea nannies were abusing it and block-booking regularly 'just in case' and then not turning up. They only allow something like 30 people in; I've never seen it heaving. And for a soft play space, it's CLEAN! They also have a couple of the most beautiful traditional rocking horses which always leave me pondering whether we should get one for home - then I look at the prices and think again! smile

AtLongLast Mon 03-Sep-12 21:17:55

Any more news on your Mum Cerub?

Did you get your confirmation of nursery place availability LadyM? & has it helped your decision any?

Well done on the hen night Tarti. I've always been too old for them. In fact I think I've only been to 1 and that was more a `meal out' with a couple of other female family members for my sis's wedding um... 25 yrs ago. I seem to be getting to an age where my natural behaviours are almost `normal' iyswim.

Boys have been v testing tonight - I think they must've been in with the bigger children at nursery today. I put ds1 out at dinner as he was hitting me (well, sort of launching himself at me with both hands & finding it v amusing that it bloody hurt!). The they were both blowing raspberries but really, more spitting. & ds1 announced `don't like it' when presented with his perfectly normal pasta dinner followed by `it's not very nice' (smiled inwardly at that one as that's not something he'd usually say) & ds2 launched his cheese across the table professing not to like it. So clearly looking for a reaction & I was v pleased that they got little out of me. Dp couldn't believe it when he got home & encountered similar at bathtime. I hope they sleep it off tonight....

I have a new project - MIL has requested a bag like the boys', though she doesn't want her name stuck on the front grin.

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