free 15 hours a week - spread over 5 days - are your nurseries doin this too?

(13 Posts)
teacherparent Sat 21-Sep-13 14:55:22

I work 3 days a week and my mum looks after my daughter for one of the days, and she is in nursery for the other two. I have been looking forward to Jan when she will be entitled to her free 15 hrs a week, but have just been informed by the nursery that we can only take 3 hours a day for free, and thus would only get the full 15 hours a week if she were full time.

As far as I understand, the government stand is that parents can take the 15 hours over two days.

I feel the nursery is taking advantage of parents, but wanted to know, is this normal practice? I am a single parent on a tight budget this is really disappointing news for me. Any thoughts appreciated. I have started looking at other nurseries but places are limited.

The nursery Dd goes to is the same. It's in a desirable catchment for schools and it feeds into the primary. As a result they try to offer a place for as many people as possible by only doing 3 hour sessions each day.

Children that do require care outside these hours usually get bussed over to a local private nursery after the session is over. Nursery arranges it themselves as its the norm here.

It's not ideal but it is fair.

If you put her into a private nursery they could probably accommodate the 15 ' free hours ' as two days but for state nurseries it's fair game.

indyandlara Sat 21-Sep-13 15:01:36

Is this a state or private nursery? At my school we could not accommodate the hours over 2 days. It is pretty standard to have children in daily for a few hours at a time. Private nurseries are totally different though.

pizzaqueen Sat 21-Sep-13 15:04:39

yes its normal here. We're in Scotland and its 12.5 hours here (2.5 a day). In our local authority these hours can't be used in private nurseries only preschoold attached to the school. So you can get 9am-11:30am or 12:30-3:30pm x 5 sessions.

it's causing us a real headache for when ds starts soon. Looking for a childminder to do the wrap around hours seems to be our only option.

insancerre Sat 21-Sep-13 15:12:52

we are a private nursery and we over the funding in several ways
you can send your child full time and the entitlement is taken off your bill
or you can have the 15 hours and just the 15 hours
we can offer this in several ways
5 x mornings of 3 hours
5 x afternons of 3 hours
or 2 days of 7 1/2 hours
we do consider other arrangements if parents need it, ie mixing ams and pms

some nurseries limit the number of funded children they take- we don't at the moment, but might consider it if places are tight
don't forget the nursery has to make a profit and sometimes they have to limit the hours that you can use for the funding
also the funding is only for term time, which is over 38 weeks, not 52

teacherparent Sat 21-Sep-13 15:16:05

It's a private nursery, and totally undersubscribed.

Why would it be difficult for nurseries to do it over two days?

teacherparent Sat 21-Sep-13 15:18:19

Thanks Insancerre, v helpful. I still don't really get why a nursery would be any worse off though. ?

LIZS Sat 21-Sep-13 15:18:33

Check with your LA (may be on its website) as it can be applied in different ways.

SkodaLabia Sat 21-Sep-13 15:20:43

For our free 15 hours a week we get 5 mornings of 2 hours 45 mins. For which we have to pay £20 per month. angry

insancerre Sat 21-Sep-13 15:29:20

It might be that some nurseries are losing money if they offer the funding over 2 days, as they might be stopping a fulltime feepaying child from taking the place
so if a nursery charges £40 a day and a child attends 2 days the nursery makes £80
if a funded child attends for 2 days they nursery only receive about £3 ish an hour
say it's £3.50- the nursery only receive £52.50 for the 2 days, but still ahve the same overheads and staff wages
some nurserie need to limit the number of funded hours children can do in order to stay afloat

Littlefish Mon 30-Sep-13 20:45:07

It's up to the nurseries to decide how they allocate the 15 hours.

threepiecesuite Mon 30-Sep-13 21:07:43

My dd does 2 days too. Our private nursery lets us take an am and pm session on 2 days and we just pay the top up. We use the 'spare' 5th session on an afternoon where she just attends for 3 hours. Funded hours are term time only but this is pro ratad across the year. We pay £192 a month to give you some idea for comparison.

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