How do they work out the free entitlement?

(28 Posts)
solveproblem Thu 13-Jun-13 07:34:24

DS is at nursery full time, we will be getting the 15 free hours per week term time from September.

They have said that they split this out evenly over the year which makes it 11 hours per week.

We pay £957 per month at the moment, the nursery is open 11 hours per day, five days a week.

Will they deduct one fifth of the full amount or will they try to work it out undone way which is most favourable for them?

I know nobody can give me an answer but the nursery but would be good to know how other nurseries work this out.

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Jun-13 11:57:24

You should just pay for the hours which are not free,so ask the nursery how much they will cost.

ReetPetit Thu 13-Jun-13 16:45:17

they will just deduct 15 hours x 38 weeks a year - they won't try and do you over hmm

Ginismyfriend Thu 13-Jun-13 19:47:56

I just asked DD's nursery the same question and they've said that discount per week is based on:

Hourly rate x 15 (free hours) x 38 (funded weeks) divided by 51 (number of billing weeks).

This makes sense (I think?) although I don't really get how they've arrived at their hourly rate in our case. It's quite a lot less than the daily rate divided by the number of hours they're open, but I'm guessing this is for food or something...

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Jun-13 19:57:25

They might have used the hourly rate they are receiving for the hours, rather than the amount you pay. Government often pays less than normal rates.

HSMMaCM Thu 13-Jun-13 19:58:27

And they shouldn't be discounting, they should simply be charging you for the other hours, meals, etc.

The hourly rate is worked out by the local council based on the funding they receive from central government, plus a few other adjustments such as a "flexibility" supplement and a hardship supplement.

My school gets something like £4.39 per child per hour for inner London, if that is of any use.

Nurseries are not allowed to charge top-up fees for the free 15 hours but there is nothing to stop them from charging market rates for the other 30 (or however many) hours your child is there. This ought to be set out clearly on their invoices.

solveproblem Thu 13-Jun-13 21:23:37

Thanks for all replies.

Sarahplane Thu 13-Jun-13 22:23:19

my dds nursery used to charge us the full fees each month and then give us a cheque back for what they got from the council. I think we got about £1500 a year back but that was about 3 years ago.

debduck Mon 17-Jun-13 20:54:41

sarahplane, they cant do that, not sure they ever could!

if you use the nursery for 20 hours, you should only be charged for 5 hours, but the above mentioned way of evening it out over 51 weeks is a better way of managing it for monthly paying parents.

Catiinthehat Tue 18-Jun-13 23:48:29

The information we received was that it works out at around £3 per hour it takes off the bill. As our nursery (which is a private one) charges more than that per hour, we end up paying a top up for the 15 hours a week we do. They work it out as termly bill minus (£3 x 15 hours per weeks x numbers of weeks in term)

This is out of London btw

HSMMaCM Wed 19-Jun-13 15:12:36

Catinthehat - as previously said ... They're not allowed to do that. The 15 hrs must be free and they cannot top up (although the government should not be trying to bankrupt us all by paying too little).

Mandy21 Fri 21-Jun-13 22:22:40

OP I have used 2 nurseries (2 different children and 2 different LAs actually) and both nurseries have done it in the way that Sarahplane describes - got my cheque for this term a couple of weeks ago. Both nurseries outstanding, hand on heart wonderful care and massive waiting lists.

insancerre Sat 22-Jun-13 12:05:43

where I work they deduct what they receive from the LEA from your bill
you are entitled to 570 free hours
each LEA has a different rate

solveproblem Sat 22-Jun-13 16:58:18

I thought they had to deduct what they charge for 15 hours and not what they get from gov for the 15 hours?

Littlefish Sat 22-Jun-13 19:15:45

If a nursery offers the 15 hours funded place, then those 15 hours MUST be complete free of charge. Thay are not allowed to charge any kind of top ups, insist on uniform or any additional charges. However, nurseries are are free to decide which hours are free, so they could make the free ones between 8 and 11am 5 days a week if they want.

I realise that the amount provided by the government does not cover the nursery costs of some nurseries. However, if a nursery isn't able to stick to the rules, then they should not be offering the funding. It makes me incredibly cross that nurseries offer the funding in order to attract customers, and yet, do not abide by the rules.

Littlefish Sat 22-Jun-13 19:17:09

Mandy - it doesn't matter whether it is an outstanding nursery, it is still breaking the rules, and risks having its right to offer the funding withdrawn by the local authority.

Mandy21 Sun 23-Jun-13 15:13:17

littlefish I wasn't saying that it doesn't have to abide by the rules because its outstanding, I just meant that (rightly or wrongly) in my experience, nurseries don't always follow the rules and the OP's nursery might be one of those.

I think most parents have sympathy with nurseries - if you break the daily rate down to an hourly rate at my daughter's nursery, its twice as much as the funding they get from the LEA. They would make a massive loss if they offered it completely "free". I understand that is the rule, but I guess for alot of nurseries, they either offer it, operate at a loss, and eventually close (which is surely in no-one's interest) or they find a way aound it. They're not using the funding to attract customers, their using the care they provide. I'd never choose a nursery solely on the basis of cost - I doubt most people would.

So they're doing what they can to make sure the nursery can still open yet getting some funding for parents.

Mandy21 Sun 23-Jun-13 15:14:19

oops sorry for type, meant they're

Dackyduddles Sun 23-Jun-13 15:18:30

Ours is private nursery. They add up year totals (ie 52wks) and divide across so it ends up same per month.

If your is terms then its 38wjs. Depends which u mean?

Tanith Sun 23-Jun-13 18:54:54

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only fool who abides by the rules!

Littlefish is absolutely right, I think. They should withdraw from the scheme. The reason is that the LAs are not passing on the funding they receive for the free entitlement.
If more providers were to say "We can't afford it", the LA would have to do something rather than expect providers to either make a loss or to force parents to pay in part for their free sessions.

The rules we have to follow mean that, not only are the top-ups not allowed, but neither is the dividing equally over 52 weeks as described in the OP - the funding must be free at the point of receipt.

HSMMaCM Sun 23-Jun-13 18:58:33

Tanith ... I follow the rules grin

On the 52 week thing though ... Some LAs do have in their terms that it can be spread over 52 weeks, as long as the children still get 570 hrs per year.

Mandy21 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:10:53

Tanith - I don't think LAs would do anything about it, that's the point. They already know how much nurseries charge, they know therefore what their hourly rates are and how little they're offering. Its (childcare in general) just not seen as a priority by LAs / government etc.

DD's current nursery charges per hour, so the hours are just deducted. It is transparent, but paid hours are quite expensive, probably as a result of the poor rates paid to them but the LA. If you use it for longer hours (as we do) then we are probably "subsidising" a child who only uses free hours. However it is a great nursery and well worth the cost for us.

DD's old nursery had a much more complex fee structure with a full 5 day per week place costing the equivalent of 4.5 days, so I have no idea how they did it.

Littlefish Sun 23-Jun-13 21:08:08

Tanith - I follow the rules too.

Tanith Sun 23-Jun-13 21:19:18

They sure as hell won't do anything about it if people just accept it and continue to turn a blind eye to settings ignoring the rules. It's unfair on those of us who do offer the free entitlement absolutely free.

Mandy21 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:59:56

I can see where you're coming from, perhaps for some nurseries / LAs the price differential between what it costs and what the nursery receives isn't too much, so you can afford to do it.

The alternative for parents is the nursery withdrawing from scheme (and getting no funded hours) or having nursery forced to provide it (if in fact the LA was bothered - think they would (as they do now) turn a blind eye) which would untimately lead to a fabulous nursery providing outstanding care to my DD close down.

Catiinthehat Sun 23-Jun-13 22:24:11

HSM- yes, i have found out they are not strictly allowed to do that but unfortunately they are which means we are paying over £1000 per term after the hours have been deducted for 15 hours.
speaking to friends, it seems many nurseries in the area are doing a top up and im not sure there's an awful lot parents can do about it.

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