single funding formula(7 Posts)
Still trying to work out how this will affect our (full-time) parent-run nursery.
Because we're open more than 38 weeks, we'd offer just 12 (not 15) hours per week, but:
- Do we have to offer part-time (ie entirely free) places?
- Can we require these to be taken in 4 hour long chunks over 3 days, not in shorter amounts over 4 or 5?
- Can we prioritise the 'free' places for children who attend for whole days (currently everyone)?
- Can we just offer 'free' afternoons and never free mornings?
nobody? Help!! Or is everyone still as confused by it all as me??
The Guidance is quite clear that parents should be offered flexibility - 15 hours spread over at least 3 days per week and 12 hours if less days than three days are used. For the +38 weeks - you should give parents a choice of paying full fees or opting not to use the nursery. Therefore dictating chunks as you suggest is not allowed - eg what if a parent chooses to use 5 three-hour-sessions per week? Also dictating when the free entitlement should be used is taking away the flexibility the guidance states must be offered.
Hope this helps.
OK, so we're a v low cost nursery currently highly subsidised by local authority - I think that offering this level of flexibility, and in particular offering 'termtime only places' (if we have to do that) will kill us off. And yet at the same time, we can't NOT offer the 15 free hours, as our target group of parents can't afford not to use it.
Is there any way in which flexibility for parents - clearly a great thing, am looking forward to it myself - is matched by realism in what providers can provide?
I'm absolutely not an expert but the only thing that was available in my rural area last year for my DS was 4 sessions a week 9-11.30 at the local school, term time only. I make that 10 hours a week. It was my only option, no flexibility available and I'm sure the school got the nursery places funding.
In my last area, we moved before he was old enough for it to be relevant, there was a choice of afternoons at his nursery or term time mornings 2 hours a day at the local school.
there's a new funding formula coming in, Antagony. And what's tricky for us is that we provide full day care (short days) and we don't really even offer half days at present... So it's hard to know what this is going to mean for us.
Thanks for the answer though!
Hi. I'm an owner of a london based day nursery very angry about this underfunded policy that we are subsidising. Had a meeting last week with four other providers with our local authority. They are being really helpful and supportive and have even amended the new provider agreements so that it doesn't state 'free' anywhere in the contract. We are allowed to charge for all meals, snacks, additional services (yoga, french, football) and extra childcare hours as long as we show this on our invoice and have made parents aware of additional charges before signing up with our nursery. The single funded formula will be pennies rather than pounds so please don't rely on this. Also make sure your terms and conditions are very clear about what you charge for. If the local authority hadn't amended the provider agreements we all would have had to opt out of the scheme altogether. Even the local authority agrees its an underfunded nightmare but they don't want to lose good quality nurseries like ours which are not cheap to run!! Good luck
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