Please explain nursery funding to me as I am very confused!

(7 Posts)
mamafridi Wed 12-Feb-14 10:44:43

I've not been back to the UK that long and so that's my excuse for not getting this business of nursery funding.
My daughter turned 3 in September and so we had to wait for the funding to kick in in January this year but to my shock and horror the nursery told me that it isn't actually 15 hours a week but £3.50 for every hour. So my dd goes 2 mornings a week (6hrs) and I still have to fork out 377 pounds!
So where are these free 15hrs I should be receiving?
Please could someone explain how I'm meant to afford for my dd to go to nursery with these kinds of fees? I am currently freelancing and could really do with 3 hours every morning to work but I'm just not earning enough to afford these prices.
Thank you in advance for any advice.

givemeaclue Wed 12-Feb-14 10:48:44

The 15 hours is for term time only so some nurseries annualis it rather than give not 15 hours per week during term time and no free hours in the holidays. Sounds like a nursery in a school may slit you better than a private nursery. You can also use childcare vouchers to pay the balance.

OddBoots Wed 12-Feb-14 10:52:07

Are you in England? If you're not this might not apply to you as I'm not sure of the situation in Wales or Scotland.

You should not be being charged this, the 15 hours are meant to be free, there is some debate about charging a small amount for a snack but £3.50 is not a small amount.

Some day nurseries have a (not strictly legal but in everyone's interests) scheme of deducting funding from their charges rather than offering the hours or they wouldn't be able to afford to enter the scheme but if you only want the free hours there should be other settings in the area who can offer those to you.

If you look on your council website you should be able to find your local families/children's information service, if you email/call/visit them then they should tell you where you can get the funding completely free.

mamafridi Wed 12-Feb-14 11:05:00

Yes I'm in Surrey.
Unfortunately none of the primary schools nearby have a preschool attached and I know that this would have covered the full 15 hours funding.
The nursery doesn't even supply a snack I have to bring that for DD so that can't be the reason. I did call my council and they were clueless- but I will persist because this is insane. My daughter would love to be going to nursery everyday and I know it would help me out work wise.
Anyway thanks for pointers.

HSMMaCM Wed 12-Feb-14 11:49:53

Ask the nursery to explain the charges. If they offer funding and you are using a funded session, then you should not have to pay.

If you attend extra hours, or different hours, then you might have to pay (ie session is 9-12 and you use 8-11, would mean you have to pay for 8-9).

Also, as already mentioned, it is term time only, unless they annualise it.

Only the nursery can really answer your specific questions. Simply ask what the charge is for.

HappyTalking Wed 12-Feb-14 20:27:47

The nursery are not allowed to charge top up fees. If your child goes to nursery for 15 hours or less it should be free. You can be charged for meals but you should not have to make up the cost of the hourly rate.

You should be able to find details on your local authority website.

MarthaHH01 Mon 24-Feb-14 15:03:01

If the nursery offer the free early learning then the 15 hours should be totally free.

It may be better if you calculate per year and then divide into monthly fees, taking into account that the NEF is only given for a maximum of 38weeks p/year.

Hope this helps

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