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Do the free nursery hours exist?

(6 Posts)
Stars1980 Mon 18-Apr-16 11:18:36

I live in Scotland and I was looking forward to the 30 hours a week free childcare. I work over 16 hours a week so on the surface am eligible. However, I spoke to the nursery and they said in practice I may get far less than 30 hours or nothing. Basically, they said that priority goes to single parent families and other groups. No problem with that, sounds fair, but what does that mean for someone on an average income? I'm trying to read around all the info and it seems quite contradictory...The government has been trumpetig this 30 free hours for ALL 3 and 4 year olds, but seems like it's not so simple as your child turns thre and just gets it. This has huge implications for me at the moment. Thanks for any insight or experience on this

LauraChant Mon 18-Apr-16 11:24:10

I don't know how it works in Scotland or if it is different. But in England, I believe the 30 hours hasn't been rolled out yet except in a few early implementer areas possible. I believe the government is still putting together plans for how it will be funded, how much nurseries will get, who will be delivering it etc. Once it is rolled out I believe the 30 hours will only be for three and four year olds where both parents work 16 hours or more a week and earn less than £100,000. But if you are in that category you should definitely get the places.

At present the 15 hours a week is free for all three and four year olds but different nurseries will have different rules about how it is offered - eg just mornings or whatever. Also it is just termtime. They are not supposed to charge top up but our one did.

Groovee Mon 18-Apr-16 11:27:24

The 15 Hours is free if it's a school run nursery. They normally charge a couple of pounds for snack. But in the private sector they only get over £1000 a year per child for the free hours, so they still need to charge for the others.

2 year olds get free places usually because they are classed as vulnerable from a criteria list.

Stars1980 Mon 18-Apr-16 11:39:30

Thanks for the info LauraChant and Grovee. That makes a lot more sense to me now. The Scottish government is supposed to implement this scheme too so it should mirror England. It sounds like from two it's unlikely she'll get anything, which is fine, but after three I'll have to do some negotiation with different nurseries and see which one offers the best deal.

HSMMaCM Mon 18-Apr-16 12:07:30

It may simply be that there are not enough spaces for all the children. There are several 3 year olds in my area that cannot access their spaces because everyone is full.

Dlah Tue 07-Jun-16 02:45:32

All 3-4 year olds get 15 hours
Means tested 2 year olds get 15 also also where applicable.

From September 2016 - 5 councils in England are starting the pilot for the 30 hours for 3-4 year olds with it rolling out fully in September 2017 everywhere.

Current terms are that 2 parent families must have both parents working 16 hours per week on the living wage or above, single parent family - just the one parent must work as above

Hope that helps

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