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How does the nursery system work

(8 Posts)
sarahloula Mon 20-May-13 19:20:53

My dd is to and a half and has so far been looked after by my mum. I understand that once a child is three they are entitled to 15 hours free at nursery. How do I go about organising this? Can I choose any nursery? Are there usually waiting lists? Bit confused about the whole thing.

ClaireZest Mon 20-May-13 19:37:40

Hi Sarah

Most nurseries do have waiting lists. I'd advise you to make appointments to visit all of the ones in your area and take lo along. Trust your gut feelings! See how the children are, see how the staff interact with them and your lo and ask lots of questions.
Speak to the manager about how the funding works in your area (I think some councils allow you to allocate the hours differently than others). Check out your local council's website which should have more info too.
Good luck! :0)

BoysRule Mon 20-May-13 19:44:09

Your dd is entitled to 15 hours per week free of charge the term after she turns 3. Lots of preschools take children from 2 but you will have to pay.
The fees are worked out differently in each preschool so do check - my son did 2 and a half days completely free in one preschool and when we moved to a different area I am now charged for part of the sessions.

You can call your local council or just look online for local nurseries and preschools. Then call them up, ask about a waiting list, go and visit and see what you think.

A nursery that provides childcare for working parents i.e that takes children from 3 months upwards all day, is different from a nursery attached to a primary school or a preschool. They will still give you 15 hours free a week but because their sessions are longer (they often open from 8am to 6pm to cater for working parents') you will have to pay a wrap around fee to make up for the extra hours.

Hope that hasn't confused you more!

CaptainJamesTKirk Mon 20-May-13 19:46:32

It's the term after they turn 3... Not their 3rd birthday!

miffybun73 Mon 20-May-13 19:46:33

Depends on where you live. Ours is Stockport (SMBC) and on their website they provide a really comprehensive guide listing the nurseries that they control (i.e. in state schools) and also all private ones in the area that cater for the free 15 hours.

For the council ones there will be a fixed deadline - for me it was the end of March to start this September (September after DD is 3)

The private/church run ones are to be contacted directly.

Hopefully all local authorities provide such comprehensive guides smile

Good luck!

miffybun73 Mon 20-May-13 19:47:13

Yes, the term after they turn 3.

Littlefish Mon 20-May-13 21:35:28

Any setting which accepts the 15 hours funding must provide the 15 hours competely free of charge. They are not allowed to charge top up fees, or insist that additional hours are taken. However, they are allowed to dictate which hours can be taken as "free sessions" e.g. 9 til 3 etc.

Cloverer Mon 20-May-13 22:03:38

You need to get a move on for a September place, especially for state/school nurseries. Where I am places are being allocated now.

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