I was wondering if anyone could give me some clear advice, my daughter has just become eligible for early years funding (570 over 48 weeks).
She has always done full day sessions 8am - 6pm (so 10 hours) mon - thurs all year round.
Her daily rate is £52, I've just had my invoice and they have deducted a full day of £52 each week and then for the other day, have split her full day into 2 sessions.
They are saying I can only access the additional 2 free hours by splitting it and taking it in a morning session with the additional 3 hours charged at £6.40 and then an afternoon rate on top. This would mean her daily rate for that day is £64 not £52.
How can they be allowed to get away with this? Can they legally tell me I can only access the additional 2 funded hours by paying what they call "their hourly rate" which by the way is not listed on their price list on the website.
Could you take the entitlement over the 38 weeks at 15 hours per week - which would mean for those weeks you would get 1 1/2 free sessions per week - rather than the 48 weeks. It would mean you have to pay full fees for 10 weeks of the year but it may work out cheaper? I think nurseries are entitled to set which sessions the 'free bit' is available in. If you are stretching your 570 hours over 48 weeks you are only entitled to 11.875 hrs free per week. Which is why they have discounted the whole day plus the extra 2 hours, and then added in the pm session and the extra morning hours. If there is no official hourly rate you may find it hard to argue, but you could now try asking why, now that they have told you what a day rate is and an hourly rate is, couldn't they take the extra 2 hours off the £52 day rate? I think you'll find nurseries are struggling to make enough money to pay for all their staff based on what the government give them per free hour compared to what they need to charge to cover overheads. I think they have to try and find ways to recoup some of the lost revenue to make them viable, not ideal but understandable - otherwise many nurseries would simply close or ratios would need to go up. I'd make an appointment to talk it through with them.