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Do you get a better deal from the free 15 hours at a pre-school than a nursery?

(9 Posts)
Thesofaisnotatrampoline Tue 03-Jan-17 11:10:48

Similar to another thread on here this morning but I didn't want to hijack so am starting a new one....

DS is 2.5 and has been at a private nursery since he was 1. Initially he did 2 full days, and now just 2 half days a week.

We are moving to a new area next week, and I have been in 2 minds about whether to continue the same pattern of nursery hours. Basically it comes down to the cost.

He will qualify for the free 15 hours in September (as he turns 3 in June) and I've been told by a friend with 3 DCs where we currently live that private nurseries often charge wrap around costs, whereas pre-schools (attached to a primary school) will let you have the 15 hours for free, so in theory this could be 3 short mornings at no charge.

Does this vary depending on the area/individual nursery or pre-school?

Just working out if I can afford a private nursery up to September, or if I should leave room in the budget for likely pre-school costs after September if wraparound fees do kick in...?

Itsalldramarama Tue 03-Jan-17 11:18:42

Hi , I manage a private nursery , the 15 hours must be offered as free , There must be no fees charged as mandatory for entry. Meals can be charged extra but sessions should be offered based on the 15 hours i.e. Every morning 9-12 or pm 1-4 for example , snacks should be included free. We do 8.30-11.3o free and 1-4 free , we offer 9-12 with £1.50 charge for lunch , also the offer can be stretched over the full year at 11 hours per week , local authorities will have a formula to work out any extra costs if you require more than 15 hours e.g. Hours atending minus the 15 hours but you should always have the option of 15 hours free with no extra charges

user1470997562 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:27:31

I think it varies. Our pre-school had a way of adding charges - I think there was one for cleaning, one for snacks at breaktime. If you stayed for lunch (i.e. used two sessions in one day) you had to pay for lunch club. It was a while back so maybe it's changed though.

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 03-Jan-17 11:31:22

My dc got/use the free 15 hours in a preschool, either as 5 x 3hr morning sessions, or as 2 x full days, plus 1 x 3hr session.

SheepyFun Tue 03-Jan-17 11:41:22

It really varies - talk to the nursery! DD goes to a local nursery, she initially went just two mornings a week, but stayed for lunch. This nursery doesn't charge for any extras, i.e. her snacks and lunch were included in the free hours. She now goes 3 mornings a week - we decided to send her year round, so she gets 11.4 hours a week. We pay to increase this to 12.5 hours/week, but we just pay an hourly rate to top them up, no fixed sessions, meals included, different hours on different days. I think this is at the ultra-flexible end of the spectrum, but just to point out that such nurseries do exist.

Thesofaisnotatrampoline Tue 03-Jan-17 11:44:03

Thanks Dramarama - I've heard people say that here several nurseries will allow the 15 hours but only as part of a longer session, so they would still charge around £250 a month for the wraparound care.

If it's a matter of the odd extra charge e.g. £2.50 a day for lunch or something, that's doable, but if it's going to be in the hundreds then I would need to reconsider putting him in nursery for the first part of the year to save up.

Thanks for responses everyone - and let's dream on that the elusive 30 hour provision may appear before long... grin

HSMMaCM Tue 03-Jan-17 22:49:08

Definitely ask them. One might be able to give you 2x7.5 hrs, another might only run 3 hour sessions each day and many other variations. You can only find out by asking each individual setting. As said above, the 15 hours should be free.

Cuppaand2biscuits Tue 03-Jan-17 22:59:07

My ds is in a preschool and I have to pay £4 for the 1 hour lunch supervision and £2.20 for his hot meal (could send packed lunch instead). £6.20 a day.

Cuppaand2biscuits Tue 03-Jan-17 23:02:08

My friends son is in a preschool where the lunch hour is included within the 15 hours but they don't offer to provide lunch you must bring your own.

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