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Nursery changing the goalposts re:free hours for 3 years olds.

(31 Posts)
Delatron Wed 05-Dec-12 18:17:05

When my son started nursery last year I checked with the nursery about the free hours and was told that I could take them over 2 days rather than spread out over the week. So 1 and a half days were funded and I would pay for half a day. This appealed to me as I didn't want my son to do a couple of hours each day.

Now the nursery are saying there has been an audit and the council have changed the parameters and the hours should have been spread across 3 days and I am liable for a certain amount of money which runs in to the hundreds of pounds.

Surely this is the nursery's error? I don't want any bad feeling but I am reluctant to pay them. If I had known this I would have used a different preschool and spread the hours out, I was only going along with their advice.

Is this legal? Isn't this an issue between the nursery and the council?

Any advice much appreciated.

Delatron Thu 06-Dec-12 08:35:20

Thanks Arion and Bella. Yes I knew I had to pay for holidays so that is all up to date. Will definitely speak to the council and make sure I can do my 3 mornings. But if as you say Bella nurseries can make special requests then I guess the onus is on the nursery to tell me what they have agreed with the council? I will need to get it in writing so that this doesn't happen again.

It is exactly as you say, the nursery have messed up and will not get the funding they thought for a number of children. This will have financial implications for them and I do feel a bit sorry for them. I don't know if I just offer to pay half. They must be expecting parents to kick up a bit of a fuss. I just don't like confrontation and bad feeling!

HSMM Thu 06-Dec-12 08:53:26

It used to be 15 hrs per week, but if a child only attended 2 days it was a max of 12.5 hrs. It has changed now. It is the nursery's fault, not yours. They told you what you needed to pay and now they are changing their minds ... you might have a case for not paying, as it was their mistake, not yours.

5madthings Thu 06-Dec-12 08:59:02

My ds4 attended pre-school last year he did two days of 7 hrs each day and we didnt have to pay abythinh as it was his 15 free hrs. When did they change the guidlines? This will affect me with dd. I would far rather she does two full days as pre-school is half hr wall each way and the half days are a pita logisticslly with school runs.

I dont see how thry can backdate it and ultimately they gave you the wrong information so its their error?

Delatron Thu 06-Dec-12 09:21:13

I think the consensus is that it is their error and I guess they are trying to recoup the lack of funding they will get. The manager explained it in a very confusing way, saying that the council had changed the rules etc but that just doesn't make sense.

I think once an invoice is issued and paid then you can't really go back a year later and claim more money?! Not the best time of year to be issued with extra Childcare costs either. Thanks everyone, I think the nursery are just trying it on and they are just going to have to absorb the costs themselves. They gave out the wrong information and if I had known I would not recieve the full funding I would have put him in for different hours.

Mandy21 Thu 06-Dec-12 10:26:32

Just to second that it varies from area to area - in my LEA you can have all of the 15 hours entitlement at a private nursery if you do 2 full days, but you can't have a term time only place in a private nursery.

Delatron Thu 06-Dec-12 10:49:07

God it varies so much. Seems the onus is very much on the nursery then to make sure they know what the council are offering.

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