Paying for lunch at nursery

(11 Posts)
LittleDonkeyKong Tue 01-Apr-14 22:39:34

My 3 yo DD attends nursery using the 15 hours funded by the government.

She has recently changed nurseries. At her previous nursery I did not have to pay for lunches but her new nursery is charging £2.50 for lunches.

Why am I paying at her new nursery when I didn't have to pay at her previous one?

I pay for lunches, but lunch time is in addition to DS's 15 hours.

DS does 2 full days and one half day. The 2 full days are a morning session (until 1200) and an afternoon session (from 1230). I pay extra for the half an hour that connects them, plus an extra half an hour after his Friday morning session. So DS has 15 hours funded, plus 1.5 hours extra for lunch every week.

Is it similar for your DD?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 01-Apr-14 23:09:59

Because you were lucky before - most charge, I think. Can you take a packed lunch?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 01-Apr-14 23:16:23

Because you are paying a charge for the food your DD is eating.

The 15 hours are paid for by the government, which is why they are free to you. The government do not cover the cost of lunch. But lunches cost the nursery money to prepare & serve, which is why there is a charge to you.

Exactly the same as it will be when DD starts primary school - the schooling will be free but the lunch must be paid for.

Mollieben Wed 02-Apr-14 20:25:29

It's totally normal - they won't and can't provide food for free. You should be able to choose to take a packed lunch though if you want to to avoid the charge.

TheScience Wed 02-Apr-14 20:27:00

Because they are different nurseries.

Very unusual for the 1st nursery to provide a free lunch to be honest.

missorinoco Wed 02-Apr-14 20:35:28

Was the previous nursery a preschool open in term time only?

Private nurseries have a discrepancy between their hourly rate and the amount the government pays them. They aren't allowed to charge a top up fee, so many get round it by charging for lunch and extras, such that you pay the difference.

Agree you should be able to send a packed lunch though, although I suspect some nurseries may not allow this. This explains why ours allows free school places only in the afternoon, hence missing lunch time. (Bet they charge for afternoon snack though.)

Littlefish Wed 02-Apr-14 21:41:46

They cannot insist that you pay for lunch if the time is included in your 15 hours. You must be able to access the 15 hours completely free of charge. Nurseries must give you the option of providing your own lunch.

EatDessertFirst Sun 06-Apr-14 19:48:03

We also pay £2.50 per session (free 15 hours split into 3x 5hrs per week) for my DS lunch. Mid-morning snack is included.

I don't mind as our nursery serve freshly cooked, varied meals. I also like the idea of him sitting and eating with his peers as it encourages him to try new foods that we may not have at home. Ithas massively improved his table manners.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 06-Apr-14 19:54:08

Our nursery charges for lunch or we can send a packed lunch.

"Exactly the same as it will be when DD starts primary school - the schooling will be free but the lunch must be paid for."

As of September infant meals will be free. Not sure how long it will last

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