Wanted to get other views and opinions as new to this....
If a childminder has a child normally for a full day, then said child starts a preschool session once or twice a week, if the childminder takes and picks updo they get paid whilst child is in preschool? Basically so parent is paying preschool and childminder?
Your CM won't have much time free by the time she's dropped off and got back home, until she has to go back to pick up.She will presumably keep your child if pre school is closed and during school holidays? I prefer not to take children to pre school and breaking up the day is more hassle to me than the benefit of any time off.
You have choices ... find a CM who doesn't charge for that time, don't send your child to pre school, wait until you have funded hours, or any other ideas you can think of.
How long is the session? Here it is 2.5 hours. Quite a bit of time if you live nearby. I agree with paying it by the way, but I don't think it's always true that you are preventing a younger child from having that place as surely ratios mean that more children over 3 can be minded than younger ones or babies.
If it's too pricey, don't send him/her to pre-school. A childminder will provide the same learning opportunities as a pre-school and should take your child to playgroups etc where they can mix with other children.
From 3 you will get funding for a pre-school/nursery place.
Presumably you would expect the CM to pick up your child were they sent home from pre-school sick, or indeed to have them if pre-school were closed? The CM is still effectively in loco parentis for those hours, so needs paying. Pre and post school may well be different, as the CM can fill the middle hours with pre schoolers, but you may still have to pay some retainer for the school hours if you would expect the CM to pick them up if they were sent home sick, or on an inset day, for example.