Advanced search

AIBU - No benefit from 15 free hours

(123 Posts)
ilovepenguins79 Wed 20-Nov-19 19:06:01

I have just had my invoice from my daughter's nursery for her first month of funded hours. We get 15 hours - 11 as its stretched. Its a private day nursery.

However the invoice is for exactly the same amount of money as the month before due to the extra charges made every month. So the nursery gets the £500 apx that we always paid plus the funding from the government.

AIBU? Surely this is not right that the nursery seems to be making money from the funding as well as charging us? Isn't the point of funding to make it more accessible?

churchandstate Wed 20-Nov-19 19:07:52

I’m so confused.

OwlinaTree Wed 20-Nov-19 19:09:03

They can't charge top ups but they can charge for meals and other extras. Also you might have been having some sort of discount on your place for having 5 days a week which doesn't apply anymore now you have some funded hours. Ask for a breakdown.

RicStar Wed 20-Nov-19 19:09:51

It does seem particularly harsh. I guess you can vote with your feet if you can find somewhere that offers the funding at least to give you a discount equal to what they receive even if it covers less than 11 hours.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 20-Nov-19 19:10:25

Have they detailed the charges on the invoice? And is their website/price list clear in what is included in the paid for hours but excluded from the free hours?

churchandstate Wed 20-Nov-19 19:11:42

Oh now I get it. That doesn’t sound right to me. They’re not allowed to charge recipients of funded places for things that are part of the service for non-funded customers.

marshmallowss Wed 20-Nov-19 19:14:05

If you're entitled to funding you get 15 hours. So the nursery make up the lost income by charging for wraparound care and food etc. So ask them for a breakdown of those fees you are paying.

For my three year old (before funding kicked in) we paid £52 a day. We now pay £11 in 'top up fees' instead. That is to cover food.
If we want extra hours over the 15 (or 30 depending on if both parents work) then we have to paid the daily rate, dependent on the hours DC is booked in for.

AveEldon Wed 20-Nov-19 19:19:58

Funding should have started in September - when was your child's birthday? Did you sign the forms for the nursery?

itsabongthing Wed 20-Nov-19 19:20:01

Sounds very wrong to me.
I can sympathise with child care providers who say that the funded hours hourly rate is not sufficient to cover their costs and so they need to be creative with top ups etc. So the total amount is the same as what they would be charging.
But if the invoice is correct (and perhaps it’s an admin error?) they are profiteering and basically just pocketing the government money whilst you carry on paying exactly the same as before.

Nursing83 Wed 20-Nov-19 19:23:37

Your first funded invoice would have been September, if your child has just turned 3 then funding doesnt start until January.

treepolitics Wed 20-Nov-19 19:25:59

Can’t be right that you see no reduction at all, I’ve had two dc in ft nursery when free hours kicked in and both private nurseries passed on at least a couple of hundred pounds per month of reduction - £150-200 depending, as funding is termly.

If you really get no reduction at all they are swindlers.

treepolitics Wed 20-Nov-19 19:27:16

Yes it is the first term after their 3rd birthday so if you have a birthday sept-dec it’s Jan. Nice!

BertieBotts Wed 20-Nov-19 19:28:50

The point of funding is to provide education for preschoolers, not to make childcare affordable. That's why it's 15 term time hours only and you can only take 3 per day so if your child is in less than 5 days, you get less.

Passthecherrycoke Wed 20-Nov-19 19:29:13

Surely they can’t make up like £100 a week lost fees in lunch charges for those 2 days? hmm

hsegfiugseskufh Wed 20-Nov-19 19:30:51

bertie the setting can offer the hours however they want.

Op did you get a breakdown? Have the free hours definitely started?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Wed 20-Nov-19 19:32:21

That’s not true bertiebotts. Up to 10 hours per day can be used- it’s up to the setting.

LoonyLunaLoo Wed 20-Nov-19 19:34:33

Yes your funded hours won’t start til January.

Peanutbutteryogurt Wed 20-Nov-19 19:36:16

Free hours wouldn't start in november or December, they start the term following the child's third birthday, so they'd either start in September, January or April (after the Easter break). Are you sure you're now eligible?

ilovepenguins79 Wed 20-Nov-19 19:39:56

DD was born in September - this is my January bill which they send 6 weeks in advance.

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Wed 20-Nov-19 19:40:22

@churchandstate for the preschool hours they are allowed to charge for meals and activities (not sure if this is the case with the means tested 2yr old free hours)

It does seem incredibly steep though. Are they perhaps charging the top up fees 5 days per week as opposed to only for the ‘funded’ days? So you’re effectively paying for those meals and activities twice -once in the fees you pay per hour and once as a ‘top-up’ if that makes sense?
I would ask for a breakdown to clarify what you’re paying for.

popsadaisy Wed 20-Nov-19 19:40:21

Sorry to jump on your threat OP but I'm confused about this 15 free hours.... we are due to get them next year and I was just under the impression that rather than spending 22.5 hours a week on nursery (lg is in 3 days a week 8 until 3.30) we will pay 22.5 minus the 15 hours = 7.5 hours for us to pay per week. But from reading this thread my bubble has been burst?
I also thought you get 15 free hours when they turn 2 and 30 free hours when they turn 3? At my LGs nursery they then make them go full time when they turn 3 because of this.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Wed 20-Nov-19 19:43:30

2 year old funding isn’t for everyone, only those on very low incomes or other specific circumstances @popsadaisy

All children get 15 hours from the term after they turn 3 and thirty hours for those with two working parents (16 hours plus).

ilovepenguins79 Wed 20-Nov-19 19:43:50

So a full day costs £52. i have 3 days a week. there's a charge of £2.50 per day for half an hour unfunded hours in the evening and then additional service charge of £15 per day for things like the staff all being level 3 qualified and access to their additional land around the nursery etc. Something seems very wrong for it to be the same as unfunded months so i am going to have a look through my invoice when DD goes to sleep and I can actually concentrate!

Crabonastick Wed 20-Nov-19 19:44:43

Have you given them your code?

I agree that something doesn’t sound quite right. What are their T&C regarding funding hours?

Some nurseries can be quite awkward. A friends nursery only accepted funded hours between 9-11 and 1-4 Monday to Friday, so you had to pay for the lunch hour, and lunch as well as only being able to utilise the hours in full if you’re child went to that nursery mon- fri from 8-4 and you incurred the additional fees on top, even if you didn’t need those hours/days

Ask them for a full breakdown

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Wed 20-Nov-19 19:45:03

I think the 15 free hours apply to everyone but the 30 are means tested.

It will vary nursery to nursery on whether they charge top ups for meals and activities as it’s their choice. It is also up to the nursery how much they can charge.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »