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Going to be made homeless through no fault of my own!

(24 Posts)
FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 16:33:51

Student finance paid £100 a week towards my DDs nursery fees last year. This year, I'm working, so I'm claiming childcare help from tax credits instead.

My DD has moved nurseries now for a number of reasons, but while she was there it was proving very difficult to get the nursery to fill in the quarterly forms needed by SFE. Lots of lost paperwork, chasing up etc.

Anyway, I managed to get them all filled in every few months and sent off.

But I've just got a letter saying they're auditing my claim. They said that they sent a letter to the nursery a while ago, but they haven't responded. They said they're going to send another letter, and if they continue to ignore it, I will need to pay the money back out of my current student loan/ grant. This equals around £4000!

If this happens, I won't be able to pay my rent. I do work, but I'm a single parent and do a full time uni course - so my hours are very limited. Plus - why should I pay it back? I was entitled to it.

I highly doubt they will reply - why would they? They couldn't be bothered when my daughter went there, let alone now I've withdrawn her. I provided the evidence they needed throughout the year.

I'm going to complain via email (as the people on the phone are beyond useless), and attach all my (electronic) invoices to the email. They told me this wouldn't be acceptable when I was struggling to get the paperwork filled in last year. But what else can I do?

So AIBU in thinking this is grossly unfair? Any advice would be appreciated.

PersianCatLady Tue 25-Oct-16 17:34:21

When dealt with SFE quite a while ago they always used to audit the claims and ensure that the childcare grant paid was correct for the amount of childcare paid for.

Sometimes they owed me money and one year unbeknown to me I owed them £170.

They never told me and I had no idea then when I applied to OU to do a degree I couldn't get funding because there was the £170 O/S.

Anyway I paid it back and then my OU funding was sorted out but if I had not have applied to the OU I never would have known about it.

What I would do is call the nursery and explain that you will be popping over on Friday (say) to collect the completed form that SFE sent them as you need to send it recorded delivery by the weekend.

By doing this you will find out if they have received the form and then you can take it from there.

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 18:13:26

What I would do is call the nursery and explain that you will be popping over on Friday (say) to collect the completed form that SFE sent them as you need to send it recorded delivery by the weekend.

I rung them after I posted, the manager said she was really busy and would only complete forms of current attendees hmm

Hopefully they will accept invoices/ bank statements showing I've paid. But I just can't believe that they're planning on penalising me when I've already given them the paperwork once - and it really isn't my fault I can't provide them with it again.

MyGiddyUncle Tue 25-Oct-16 18:21:51

That's horrendous.

Go there at a popular pick up or drop off time. Ask for the manager loudly and then loudly ask why she will not complete the necessary paperwork for your child. Kick up a fuss in front of her current attendees parents. And if she refuses, ask for the owners details (assuming it's not her).

If it is her, demand she completes it or you will report her to Ofstead (no idea about what but it's a good threat to chuck in). You could also mention that time your dc was left in a wet nappy/when the bins were smelly/your concern over XYZ that you would also be mentioning to Ofstead unless the stupid woman signs the fucking form.

Topseyt Tue 25-Oct-16 18:22:23

What I would do is call the nursery and explain that you will be popping over on Friday (say) to collect the completed form that SFE sent them as you need to send it recorded delivery by the weekend

So would I. It is still the business of the nursery because it relates to financing at the time when your child was registered there. So, they have the records. I would plant myself there and refuse to leave without.

Can SFE send the paperwork they want to you, so that you can turn up at the nursery with it and insist that you will not leave until they have completed it and provided all required documentary evidence? If they won't play ball then you will be hoping for their help to repay the £4,000 to SFE.

Worth a shot. They don't sound as though they are behaving reasonably here, even though you have withdrawn your child.

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 18:24:37

Oh god. I fucking hate confrontation. I have anxiety even thinking about it. But I'm going to have to, aren't I? shock

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 25-Oct-16 18:25:36

It sounds v stressful, but I can see the SFE's point if they are required to do an audit. I would suggest upping pressure on the nursery - make it more trouble for them not to do it than the hassle of filling in a form. Eg phone /drop by daily and make it clear that since your housing depends on them doing this you will not be giving up under any circumstances.

19Hannah Tue 25-Oct-16 18:27:32

Had sooo many problems with SFE so I really feel for you, the nursery sound absolutely rediculous and luckily mine have been really helpful in every way filling forms in almost immediately! Almost November and I'm still awaiting my finance from mid September, living off £50pw incomings child tax credits, rent arrears about to get taken to court for repossession- SFE just do not care!!

Nothing constructive to add, sorry.

MyGiddyUncle Tue 25-Oct-16 18:29:14

I really would. I wouldn't rely on just attaching your statements again - unfortunately, student finance probably do have a need to audit claims as I bet quite a few try to diddle them...they'll probably not budge.

PurplePidjin Tue 25-Oct-16 18:29:46

They can either fill in the form or you will be taking the to small claims for the full amount - filing online is about £30 I believe? But I'd be doing that in person at a busy pick up time as a pp suggested. You won't have to confront them more than the once

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 18:30:43

Ok. I'll go in tomorrow and get it over and done with blush I'm so shit at things like this

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Tue 25-Oct-16 18:33:38

Can I suggest you contact your student union for help in sorting this as well? They can be very effective with this sort of thing.

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 25-Oct-16 18:36:27

It's horrible dealing with confrontation when you hate it, it gives me terrible anxiety so I sympathise bit just try and keep in mind that you are doing this for your daughter because you need that money to support her. I find that I'm better at confrontation if I am standing up for my DC. Going in person is wise and when they say they will do it try and push them to do it then and there if they can.

GreenGoblin0 Tue 25-Oct-16 18:37:26

speak to the student finance or welfare advisors at your uni they should be able to help you.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Tue 25-Oct-16 18:40:12

Good luck. Yes you need to

PersianCatLady Tue 25-Oct-16 18:43:06

Honestly annoying as it is this isn't unusual, SFE often checks the claims.

Perhaps the nursery didn't get the letter or perhaps they are being slack but as long as you actually paid for the childcare with the childcare grant and the figures are more or less the same, no-one is paying anyone £4,000.

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 18:46:57

N*o-one is paying anyone £4,000.*

I so hope you're right. Ok, I'll go and chat to the finance people at uni tomorrow and see what they advise - but will gear myself up to go to nursery at 5:30 tomorrow blushblush thanks everyone for your help.

Lunde Tue 25-Oct-16 18:58:35

The nursery have accepted public money to provide a service and should complete the paperwork to account for what they have received. I would probably ring the nursery and threaten to complain to OFSTED if they do not complete your paperwork

Now OFSTED may not do anything but the nursery may not want the complaint on its record

missymayhemsmum Tue 25-Oct-16 18:59:02

I would go in and check they have received the letter, and be 'concerned' that they might not complete the forms, and that is so, are there any other forms they may not be up to date with, that perhaps ofsted or hmrc might want to look at? After all, if their admin is generally slack like this, should parents be concerned about safeguarding? On the other hand, you are sure it was just an oversight....

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 19:03:27

Their OFSTED has dropped from outstanding to needs improvement in the past six months; my best friend worked there so they probably would be scared I could damage their reputation. Neither her nor I would do that, but I think the threat of it would probably be enough. Really good ideas, thank you.

MatildaTheCat Tue 25-Oct-16 19:13:29

Your complaint should be directed to the nursery rather than the finance people. You need to tell them clearly that you must have the paperwork completed by X time on y date and if it is not done you will involve your solicitor, complain to OFSTED and seek advice from your MP.

This is a disgrace and he nursery sound rubbish but you probably know that.

PersianCatLady Tue 25-Oct-16 19:56:34

I so hope you're right
I don't want to be boastful but I am so sure that I am as long as you can answer yes to this -
"Did you submit a truthful claim for the childcare grant and did you use the grant money appropriately?"

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 25-Oct-16 20:19:32

*I don't want to be boastful but I am so sure that I am as long as you can answer yes to this -
"Did you submit a truthful claim for the childcare grant and did you use the grant money appropriately?"*

Of course. The maximum they pay is £100ish a week and my DDs fees were £600 a month. So there's no way I would owe them any money, as I was paying a fair amount myself on top of the money they contributed.

PersianCatLady Tue 25-Oct-16 21:04:38

Of course
There you go then, annoying as it is, it WILL get sorted out.

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