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Advice on pre-school fees/funded places?

(13 Posts)
kkey21 Sun 05-Oct-08 10:30:59

Hi there.....

Wonder if anyone can help? My ds started pre school in February tis year and as he didn't turn 3 until Auggust we had to pay for his 2 x sessions per week.....

After filling in my self assessment tax return in April-we found out he was actually eligble for a funded place after talking to a friend....so i spoke to the teacher in charge to be told i should have told them when he started to get the funding in place.....But being self employed i couldn't have!

How do i/Can i get my fees back and if sio who can i call as the nursery don't seem to be able to help me further!
Is it the Cis or who?

The money was a real struggle to find as it was 1/4 of my weekly salary in that period and now with a newborn i could do with it back if i can get it? We are talking a good few hundred pounds+ over the course of Feb-July.

Many Thanks

CarGirl Sun 05-Oct-08 10:35:42

I am confused I think you are mixing up 2 different schemes.

EYFES sessions 5 x 2.5 hrs of free re-school sessions per week paid for by the LEA which do start the term after they turn 3 and runs for a maximum of 38 weeks per year.

Childcare voucher sceme, you pay into the scheme and do not have to pay tax on that amount and pay it to the childcare provider via the vouchers/on-line transfer.

The most you have lost out on is the tax relief of what you have paid out since February to August.

CarGirl Sun 05-Oct-08 10:36:20

sorry for typos must go have that 2nd cup of coffee.......

DaisySteiner Sun 05-Oct-08 10:39:21

Right, let me get this straight. You ds started in Feb 08 and turned 3 in August 08. Funding is in place from the term AFTER the child turns 3, ie September 08. (There are a few parts of the country where they're running a trial scheme for it to be earlier)

I don't understand what you mean by finding out after filling in your tax return? The funding has nothing to do with a parent's income unless you're talking about the money you can get through Working Tax Credits to help with childcare costs. If so, this has absolutely nothing to do with the nursery and you really need to speak to the tax credits office.

DaisySteiner Sun 05-Oct-08 10:40:26

I didn't think self-employed people could do childcare vouchers though?

KatyMac Sun 05-Oct-08 10:44:58

3 types of help

LEA Vouchers/funded places - these are 2.5hrs of free education for your child starting the term after they are 3

Working Tax Credits - childcare funding a percentage of your fees you pay is given to you as part of your tax credit payment IF you are eligible as a result of a ow income - but only if you are working

Salary sacrifice scheme - you pay your nursery money (up to 243 a month) before paying tax &NI on them - as far as I am aware this is not available for Self employed people

CarGirl Sun 05-Oct-08 11:11:36

That was my thought wasn't sure if the salary sacrifice scheme was available for self employed people. If it is you could set it up ask the pre-school to refund you from 5th April and then repay them through the salary sacrifice scheme.

If it's WTC then you would get this financials years amount if you qualify regardless.

kkey21 Sun 05-Oct-08 18:15:59

Sorry think i have confused everyone!
My child was 2.6 when he started we had to pay about £9 per session so £18 ish per week.

We were told anyone earning less than 25K got their place funded. It wasn't until i completed my tax return and then saw my partners earnings (which do vary with bonuses each month) that we came in under this figure but i had already written cheques out for the fees on a termly basis and was told it was too late to apply for the funded place????

He is now funded as he is 3 but surely something can be done to get my £££ back?

Its def not the childcare voucher thing, reckon i should speak to the tax credit people?

Its so bloody confusing but im not kidding when i said i struggled to pay it-i earnt £80 per week myself as a childminder (yes registered!) before any expenses/costs were taken out! I then had to pay my share of mortgage/bills from my savings (lucky i had a little bit)...But know knowing i shouldn't have paid as we earnt under the amount is annoying as i could really do with the £££ back!

Sorry for probably confusing you all again! Thank you for your help! xxx

LIZS Sun 05-Oct-08 19:36:28

Unless you qualify for the Childcare element of Tax Credits , which I suspect would have been borderline at best on that level of household income, you would n't get funding for a private nursery/preschool place. The child care element is means tested, based on working a minimum number of hours per week and scaled accordingly. I think the deadline to amend a TC claim this year was quite recently and that should take into account yoru cirucmstacnes over the past 12 months and may compensate you over the next year assuming you submitted it. However I don't think you can claim retrospectively but CAB should be able to tell you.

The Early Years funding which the preschool have to submit forms to LEA for at the start of each term is a separate system and only begins after they have turned 3, so only starts for you this term.

LIZS Sun 05-Oct-08 19:39:06

You can check if you should qualify here

kkey21 Sun 05-Oct-08 20:59:49

I will have another chat with the leader this week. She mentioned its something the preschool themselves have to put in place-the funding-as we earnt under the 25k....

Just had a discussion with a friend who successfully got the last term paid for as she saw a notice up on her preschool board mentioning there was help for 'low' incomes under 25k... She had to just show her the tax credit form to 'prove' their income was under the allowed level.

We do get tax credits although slightly confusing as we had an overpayment in 2005...

Not sure if it makes a difference to the school funding but we are in Hertfordshire...It sounds like a tax credit thing.

DaisySteiner Sun 05-Oct-08 21:56:38

It sounds as though they're just using the tax credits system as an easy way to assess people's income, but is a totally unrelated scheme. I definitely think you should strongly appeal to them about this, possibly in writing. Is this a pre-school with a management committee rather than a private nursery? If so, it's probably the committee that you need to appeal to rather than the teacher as she probably doesn't have any jurisdiction over this.

Helennn Mon 06-Oct-08 10:31:08

Let us know how you get on. I am secretary of a pre-schools committee and I haven't heard anything about this, I would have thought it was a tax credits thing, not for the pre-school to work out.

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