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Can nurseries NOT offer free hours to 3 year olds?

(10 Posts)
delilahdoesthedishes Thu 27-Oct-16 23:11:52

My daughter has been in nursery since she was 18 months and only goes 1.5 days per week. My husband oh so casually mentioned yesterday that our nursery doesn't do the 15 free hours when she turns 3. I'm now panicking. She would qualify for them next September and I'm worried about having to find another nursery. Those 15 hours would be a MASSIVE help for us financially.

BackforGood Thu 27-Oct-16 23:14:06

Of course. It's up to them. Same with Childminders - they can choose.
Their hand is often forced a bit if all other local Nurseries do, but entirely up to them if they choose not to.

delilahdoesthedishes Thu 27-Oct-16 23:15:25


HSMMaCM Fri 28-Oct-16 09:31:15

You might want to double check with the nursery, in case he overheard something about not offering the additional 15 hours next year.

NickNacks Fri 28-Oct-16 09:35:29

The government only subsidises the hours, the nurseries and childminders are finding the gap and many decide this isn't worth it for them.

NickNacks Fri 28-Oct-16 09:35:46


SpotTheDuck Fri 28-Oct-16 09:43:59

A lot of nurseries aren't offering them, it's their choice and the government funding doesn't cover their costs. Speak to the nursery though - several near us officially do offer the 15 free hours but you pay for "extras" so they are still making enough money and you are effectively getting a subsidy.

RNBrie Fri 28-Oct-16 09:47:37

Plenty of them don't offer the 15 free hours.

Where we are, the council pay £3.66 an hour however the nursery charges £7 and they aren't legally allowed to charge the difference to the parent because the hour is supposed to be "free".

Almost all of our local nurseries do charge the difference and no one complains because the alternative is no funding at all.

Boogers Fri 28-Oct-16 10:25:57

Not only can they not offer them, they can also pick and choose who they give them to. DD was at our newly opened village nursery from 2010 - 2012, and in 2012 and we were told there were no places for free sessions for 3-year-olds, so she left there and went to the nursery attached to the infant school she later went to. A month after she left the nursery had a massive poster advertising free places for 3-year-olds on their fence. I was annoyed with the first bit but angry that she then advertised free places. The thing that ultimately made me take DD out of that nursery was when the owner, someone who was a friend at that point, called her brother a 'retard' in conversation with me (her brother with learning difficulties who was employed by her to prepare the meals in the nursery). That conversation was an innocent one where I asked how things were going and she said she'd employed her brother as "he's a retard and doesn't have anything else to do. In school he was told it's learning disability, but he's just retarded". We left that month and things disintegrated from there.

HyacinthFuckit Thu 03-Nov-16 09:55:47

They're free to offer or not offer state funded services, just the same as any other professional or private entity. So you can be a dentist and not be obliged to work for the NHS, a law firm and not do legal aid, a teacher and only take jobs in private schools etc. This is no different.

Near me, providers are generally pretty obvious about offering the free hours. Granted, that's because the free hours are the main source of business, which obviously isn't the case everywhere, but they have banners outside. You should be able to check easily enough whether your husband's right or not and if not, at least you have a while to get her name down elsewhere if you want.

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