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Nursery charging top up fee £530 a term

(40 Posts)
Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 13:54:36

Hi everyone my daughter will be starting Nursery in september. She will be 3 years 5 months and has never attended any kind of nursery before. Please be kind and advise me as I am completely clueless.
For the autumn term 12th sep-19th dec
the initial charge is £1333
minus nursery fund of £803 leaves me with £530 to pay.
the usual price of morning session 9-1 is £31

my daughter will be doing 12 hours her first term (3 days a week). the Nursery is open during half term and I told the nursery I cannot afford to pay for the whole week so I might send her two days a week at most, which they agreed to.
My daughter will not eat lunch there but will have snacks such as fruit and water and we were asked to pay extra for this and for certain activities, we agreed to this ( obviously I should have asked how much this would cost) as I was so overjoyed that she had got a place.

we were told that she would be able to have the full 15 hours after half term and now I think part of the cost of the £530 is the nursery charging me for an extra hour a week as they would have to let her do 16 hours as they have 4 hour sessions. If they are charging me fairly 1 hour should cost £7.75. This should come to £54 and if are charging me for the half term that should cost £155 but that still leaves over £300 to pay. Could they be charging over £300 for fruit and at most 2-3 activities.

I asked the nursery to send me a breakdown of the costs yesterday by email, but they haven't responded yet. If I find that they are charging over the odds for the extra hour am I within my rights to say I want my daughter to continue at only 12 hours a week. They have sent me the offer letter with a deposit of £200 to pay.
I spoke to the nursery yesterday before they sent the fees and she did sound a little like she was backing out of the deal for the two days a week, she just kept saying look at the fees then decide what you want to do.
Any advice would be appreciated

insancerre Tue 29-Jul-14 19:39:41

What activities is she doing?
Dance and drama lessons may be 2-3 pounds a week which would add up to a fair bit
You may also be paying the difference between the 31 for a session and the £16 iah the setting receives for the funded hours

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 19:49:01

Hi, thanks for the message, I don't think they are doing regular activities just maybe something once a week at most, the only activity mentioned has been yoga. I understand that things can add up over the weeks, but there is I think only 14 weeks between 12th September and 19th dec so, even if it was £5 a week that would amount to £70.
So do you think the nursery is trying to charge me over the odds for the extra hour my daughter might do? As I said earlier if they charge me the fair price for the extra hour it should only come to £54 as she would be doing it only after half term. How much could they be charging me for fruit!!

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 29-Jul-14 19:53:02

What kind of nursery is it? My daughters private nursery attached to a private school charged a similar amount.

insancerre Tue 29-Jul-14 20:00:57

Are you assuming she can attend 9-1 three times a week for free? Have they actually told you this?
It might be that they only allow you to have 3 free hours on a morning and charge for the 4th hour
They shouldn't really do this but many do as they would run at a loss otherwise

bumpiesonamission Tue 29-Jul-14 20:03:33


It sounds like your nursery is very expensive anyway. Why do you have to pay for activities? are they not included??

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:05:54

Hi, it is a private nursery not attached to a school or anything. Can I ask how they broke down the price for you? The thing is I feel like I am a bit trapped into paying. When I initially spoke to them, they told me I would be paying for food and activities and half term time attendance and nothing else was mentioned. I just wonder if they are trying to get extra money out of me because I said I don't want my daughter to attend during all the days of half term. I haven't really got any other options of where she can go but I read today that nurseries shouldn't even charge for extra activities. They said if I don't pay for the activities (I was going to play) my daughter would have to sit somewhere else.

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:07:43

Hi, no activities are not included.

bumpiesonamission Tue 29-Jul-14 20:08:16

Can you Google other nurseries to look at their packages??

Have you considered a childminder?

titchy Tue 29-Jul-14 20:11:55

Tbh £31 for a half day sounds more like a day-care nursery not a preschool type place. I'd look elsewhere. I assume there's a maximum payment for the free hours and they're just charging you the difference.

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:14:13

Hi insancerre. Yes I was assuming that the 3 x 4 hours a day would be free as it is still less than what I am entitled to. She hasn't said it is free but she hasn't said it isn't. All they said I had to pay for initially was for food, activities and attendance on half term. We have emailed each other many times and spoken on the phone and this was never mentioned.

tinkerbellvspredator Tue 29-Jul-14 20:17:02

Have you checked your local primary schools whether they have any spaces free? Even if you missed the application round you could get in if they have a space.

Are there no community Playschools near you?

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:18:49

Hi it says it's a nursery school. I think it's almost too late to start looking else where. I could afford to pay it, but I would be completely strapped especially with Christmas and god knows what they would charge for the term after Christmas.

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:21:10

Hi I applied to some school nurseries and my daughter got in but they only had full time and my daughter wouldn't be ready for that. When people say they are charging me the difference what do you mean, for example if it was an itemised bill how would it be presented if that makes sense.

insancerre Tue 29-Jul-14 20:22:46

In that case ask if you could just do the 15 hours a week for free
They should let you.

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:37:45

thanks for all the help everyone. Insancerre in the first term my daughter is doing 12 hours a weeks at the suggestion of the nursery, so it does seem crazy I would have to pay extra when I am not even using all the hours I am entitled for.

I found this website

and these are some rules they lay out

No fees charged for the 15 hours
No conditions of access – for example, parents should not have to buy more hours or pay for lunch to secure a place
No other fees in relation to the free entitlement, for example registration or uniform
No deposit – parents must not have to pay up-front for the free entitlement
No session longer than ten hours
No session shorter than 2.5 hours
Up to 12.5 hours over two days

is there any rule that says a session can only last 3 hours?

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:42:07

i just remember I emailed the nursery when I first applied about the 3 hours 4 hours thing

"I attended the open morning today and it was very nice to meet you and see just how much the nursery had to offer. I am just wondering if I filled the application in correctly as I am hoping to get my daughter the free 15 hour a week places for when she is 3 and a half . I ticked the 9-1 morning option and am just wondering if that is correct as that would be four hours everyday. Sorry to bother you with this I just wanted to be sure I hadn't missed an option on the form, thank you for your time"

she emailed me back and said

"Yes that's fine. I will call you nearer the time when a space becomes available"

wouldnt that have been the time to tell me about extra charges?

monkeyfacegrace Tue 29-Jul-14 20:45:41

Bear in mind funding is only over 39 weeks a year. Most nurseries are open 52 weeks, so that's the difference.

You need to find a term time only 15 hours place.

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 20:50:26

Yes but there is only one week half term in the period that they are charging me for so that would be £155, so there is still a charge of £374

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Tue 29-Jul-14 20:56:19

If they are charging you top ups you will get the funding for 15 hours which i think is paid at £3.66 per hour. You will be expected to top up their hourly rate above this. Have you calculated for this? So say one session is 9 to 1, funding is is £14.64. You per session make up the £16.36 shortfall. So for 3 sessions a week you are paying 56.83. This is a really rough calculaion as my numbers are off perhaps the funding has increased. But the logic stays the same you will be paying to top up their hourly rate.

Itscurtainsforyou Tue 29-Jul-14 20:57:35

From speaking to other parents, there's a massive difference between nurseries in the way they charge alongside the 15 free hours.

Ours has a set of fees for the cost of a day at nursery using one 1/2 day per day and also for using two 1/2 days.
We send lo for three days, so have two days using two 1/2 days and one day using one 1/2 day. The reduced fees are for wrap-around care (ie to cover 8am-6pm). There are also parents who just use the 15 free hours only.
Other nurseries I heard of give a very small discount from the 15 free hours allowance, stating that x/y/z activities are separate and cost extra.

Best bet is to get a breakdown of cost as you've requested.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Tue 29-Jul-14 20:57:55

P.s. the rules dont apply re that the hours must be free with an independant nurser

Amelia23 Tue 29-Jul-14 21:08:14

Really I am super confused, I hope she sends me a breakdown by email as if she explains it over the phone my brain might very well melt out my ears. As I said before the only fees she mentioned, were food, activities and half terms..nothing else. I even emailed questioning her about the 4 hour thing and she didn't explain it as a problem or that I would be charged for it. I'm really down thinking about it, not so much the money but the feeling that I don't know if I am being taken advantage of and that there is not much fuss I can make as I don't want to make a problem with the nursery

MaryWestmacott Tue 29-Jul-14 21:10:00

Most nurseries are an expensive way to get your 15 hours, it's not really a preschool, it's a nursery for childcare and that's what they are set up for.

You might not be too late to find a place at a preschool only if you don't need wrap around care, email them all in your area. People move over the summer and turn down places.

Marcipex Tue 29-Jul-14 21:10:48

They have to give you the free 15 hours. All the rest is to try to make a profit, as the funding is a very very mean amount and they can't make a profit.

Could you find a preschool? Then you'd only pay for the one hour a week you want to make it up to 16.

I've never heard of charging extra for fruit. Our preschool gives fresh fruit, cheese, toast or pitta bread free every day. Milk is also free.

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