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Enlighten me on day nurseries in Cambridge and nearby please

(10 Posts)
Colourworld Mon 23-May-11 11:01:35

DS is 2, going to be 3 in autumn. I am looking for a job. Do I find a job first and then a nursery or the other way around? I know that when DS is 3 he is going to be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare (e.g. pre-school nursery). What about other nurseries in Cambridge like Kids Unlimited? Do they charge the full fees? We are not entitled to clam benefits coming from non-EU country so we do not receive any child tax benefit, vouchers etc which would help to rduc the fees. In order to pay £40.00/day I would need to find a well-paid job which is not easy for a mother with two young kids. So I do not know what to do. DS could start pre-school from January 2012 and I could work part-time. A child minder is not an option as we would prefer DS going to a nursery than one-to-one care. Hope someone can help me.
Thank you.

BettyBleu Mon 23-May-11 18:53:46

You do get the 15hrs with Kids Unlimited but it isn't 15hrs per week for 52 weeks of the year, it is 15hrs per week during term time and doesn't apply to school holidays, I think Kids Unlimited prorata it.

Colourworld Mon 23-May-11 22:43:02

*BettyBleu", thanks a lot, that is a very helpful info. I did not know KU are doing it as well.

umf Tue 24-May-11 19:41:53

Yes, you can use the "15 hours a week" at any nursery. Most state preschools only operate in the mornings, which is useless for working parents. If you go for a nursery which does whole days, you can use the hours as you want, eg for 2 full days. On the other hand, those nurseries often charge more per hour than the council provides, so you have to pay something. And, as BB points out, the 15 hours is a naughty lie - you don't get anything like that much once it's spread over a year. Good luck...

Colourworld Thu 26-May-11 09:39:56

Thanks umf for clarification on my issue. Now I understand a little bit more on how the private nursery system works.

MovingAndScared Thu 26-May-11 09:53:15

By the way - CM isn't one to one care as they would normally have other children -
I don't know the position exaclty but it might worth looking into child care vouchers if your OH has them - that saves a bit - I would look to have some child care at least line up while you job search - and as you will see from other threads getting a part time job is not always easy!!

hannahonfire Fri 10-Jun-11 02:46:15

thanks for the info - I am in the same position with a 2 year old. Wondering what the best place is to go to find out about eligibility for child care vouchers? And wondering how hard it would be to set up as a childminder/nanny myself, instead of finding a job outside the home.

MovingAndScared Fri 10-Jun-11 19:45:05

Child care vouchers are something that some employers offer which means basically you can pay for some childcare before tax - or if you were on a low income you could get some money via tax credit - this link is a good summary

childminding- best place to start would be ncma website
but cambridgshire council should have some ino as well - and have a look on the childminder section of mumsnet

EssentialFattyAcid Fri 10-Jun-11 19:47:14

Have you seen the ofsted reports for KU?

frazzled09 Fri 10-Jun-11 20:54:50

Wolfson Court KU is brilliant - KU get a rough trot on here from many people (often those who haven't sent any children there) but don't just accept what the Cambridge News said as gospel. My son has been there for a year, it is a brilliant place. I can't vouch for or criticise the other KU sites in the city, having never had any experience of them. But I would say that Ofsted is only one factor: gut feeling when visiting the place is much more important to me.

On the voucher issue: if your (or partner's) employer don't offer childcare vouchers; ask them why not. They are not means tested and the scheme saves employers money too as they don't pay any tax or NI on up to £243 of your income per month, just as you don't pay tax or NI on it either. It works brilliantly for us, we both claim the full amount and save a lot in tax and NI per year. You can also claim them if you have older children who need care in the holidays. It's a really good scheme, but this April they changed the rules for higher rate tax payers, making it a slightly less good deal if you join after April 2011 and are in the higher tax bracket.

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