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To think it's not "15 hours of free childcare"

(81 Posts)
Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 19:43:10

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formerbabe Thu 13-Nov-14 19:47:42

Yep I had this...it was explained to me that the free hours were paid to them at a certain rate but their costs are more per hour so they charged more for the rest of the hours.

It hurt my head doing all the maths to be honest... So confusing!

lougle Thu 13-Nov-14 19:50:52

They're not allowed to do that. It's illegal. However, if they are forced to provide the funded hours free without top up they just decide not to offer funded care.

Smartiepants79 Thu 13-Nov-14 19:51:10

Your nursery is probably not receiving £4.50 an hour for those 15 hours.
They will be getting less so you have to cover the rest of the cost.
I think, but don't quote me, that the setting receives £3.75 an hour. So they will have deducted that amount from your fees and then charged you the rest.
Some settings charge even more than £4.50 an hr, the government can't cover all the costs.

Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 19:53:06

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loveableshoulder Thu 13-Nov-14 19:53:16

My friend told me they her nursery charges for all day, something like 8-6, even if you aren't using all of those hours. Plus she had to pay for a lunch club, I think. Plus pay for food, snacks. So she was hardly better off. Not was I - childminder charged right through the three-hour sessions.

SpikeWearingACoat Thu 13-Nov-14 19:53:28

My understanding is that the 3 yr old funding covers 15hrs/wk for term time only, so 38weeks per year.
My mathematical skills are rubbish but does this fit your calculations?

Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 19:55:01

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Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 19:55:43

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SpikeWearingACoat Thu 13-Nov-14 19:57:45

Sorry, you did show that in your calculations blush
Could they be charging extra for food/ toiletries etc?

Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 19:58:26

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hollie84 Thu 13-Nov-14 19:58:31

They are supposed to offer you the 15 hours term time free with out top ups, but lots of private nurseries are sneaky and want to maximise their income. Maybe speak to your local council.

RandomMess Thu 13-Nov-14 19:59:02

No they are not permitted to charge a top-up but if they don't then they won't be able to offer it at all.

How much they receive varies by LEA to LEA or is it county - anyway it's not the same countrywide.

Also it's free early-years education not childcare and therein is the problem!!

Anomaly Thu 13-Nov-14 20:00:31

The nursery I use charges a different hourly rate according to the number of hours you use them for. The free hours aren't included in the total number of hours. So I currently use nursery for 21 hours a week and am charged around £4.5 an hour which is what they charge per hour for those over 2 using 20+ hours of care. When DD1 turns 3 I will only have to pay for 6 hours but will drop into the more expensive bracket of using 9 hours or less and get charged a higher hourly fee. Maybe your nursery does something similar.

SugarplumKate Thu 13-Nov-14 20:02:08

They can get more than £3.75 per hour, it depends on a number of variants. It could be as much as £4.20 per hour from the grant, not much less than you pay. In any case, they should not charge top up fees on those 15 hours. If its a private nursery, they are being very sneaky. I'd ask exactly how your 15 free hours works. They are definitely not allowed to charge top up on those hours.

SoonToBeSix Thu 13-Nov-14 20:03:54

It's education not childcare , if you only wanted to access 15 hours for education purposes only you would pay nothing. What you are being charged for is the extra hours of childcare plus lunch.

whyhasmyheadgonenumb Thu 13-Nov-14 20:05:12

My nursery gives you a free day, my DD does 2 days and I get charged for one, they work it out that she gets 11 free hours a week for 52 weeks. I haven't questioned it because it works for me!!!

Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 20:06:28

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LizzieMint Thu 13-Nov-14 20:09:38

Our nursery effectively charges top up fees too but I've complained to the council and nothing has happened. How they get around it is that they say the funded hours are free but you have to pay for wrap around hours (even though we don't use them) and THOSE hours are mysteriously charged at about £9.50 an hour which lo and behold means that for the day they get exactly the same amount as the normal fee.

ChunkyPickle Thu 13-Nov-14 20:09:39

It's sneaky, and underhanded, and bordering on against the rules but lots of places do it.

The playgroup I used didn't (they got 4GBP/hour - the owner was very open about it) - but instead they asked that if you could, you donated things like wipes, tissues etc.

In my area 6GBP/hour is normal for most settings (55 quid a day in a nursery! Not including nappies) and I thank my lucky stars that I've found a fantastic childminder who only charges 4/hour.

Smartiepants79 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:10:18

That've you actually asked them how they work out the fees?
Only they can really explain their figures.
I agree it is misleading but surely you can also see that if the nursery is not being paid what they require to cover their costs they need to get that money from somewhere.

Maidupmum Thu 13-Nov-14 20:12:20

We get £73.50 per child per 15 hours which works out at £4.90 per hour smile

Phoenixfrights Thu 13-Nov-14 20:13:09

You're entitled to 15 hours free early education and care but not necessarily at the provider of your choosing.

Also the entitlement is not really a 'voucher' for a discount of 15* your usual hourly rate. It sucks a bit but it's better than nothing.

dannydyerismydad Thu 13-Nov-14 20:13:13

Our local council now states "some early years providers will charge you for additional services"

One particular preschool wanted a £6 top up per half day, even if you only booked 5 x 3 hour sessions. £30 a week for "Montessori equipment! The council see nothing wrong with it and choose to do nothing. It's such a pity.

Loletta Thu 13-Nov-14 20:15:34

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