Advanced search

'Voluntary Contribution?'

(53 Posts)
SearchingforGrandparents Thu 06-Apr-17 12:01:34

Hi I have recently been approved for 15 hours funding for my 2yr old to start Nursery. So I approached a lovely private Nursery/Pre-Prep School that surprisingly stated on a local website that they accepted funded children. So I thought why not? I'm no snob but if a really nice place accepts the funding then I may as well check it out at least? If nothing else, just out of curiosity/comparison. So I contacted them and all seemed great..... Then just as I'd booked at date & time to come and look around, the lady mentioned there was a "Voluntary Contribution of £900 per term as we don't feel that the funding covers the costs of the level & quality of service that we offer"


Fair enough if there was a slight cost, but £900 a TERM?!?!?

I guess my questions here are - Exactly how 'voluntary' do you think this is? Has anyone else come across a scenario like this when looking for funded places within Nurseries. Did you have the option to send them there without paying it? If so, did they treat your child differently because of this?

Is it worth the risk? Or should I just be more realistic and send her to somewhere else?

Please don't be harsh or call me snobby! I genuinely am the most down to earth person. It was just one of only 3 funded child-accepting Nurseries in the area and the only one that returned my call! (Plus I thought the little uniform is cute!)

Thanks! X

TiggyD Thu 06-Apr-17 18:05:30

Nurseries spend about £5 on average looking after a child. They get paid about £4 by the funding people. Every hour your child is there in a """free""" place they lose a pound, or more if it's a quality nursery.

The contribution is a way round the massive screw up that is """free""" places. I think you would need to pay it.

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 06-Apr-17 18:06:43

I don't know how my nursery would provide anywhere near the quality of care they do if they didn't get top ups.

HSMMaCM Thu 06-Apr-17 18:07:19

I agree. It's a voluntary contribution to make up for the underpayment from the government. They're not trying to fleece you. The government love shouting about it being free and then don't pay for it.

insancerre Thu 06-Apr-17 18:08:53

Please watch this video

HSMMaCM Thu 06-Apr-17 18:09:08

Watch this video for an explanation

HSMMaCM Thu 06-Apr-17 18:09:28

Cross post grin

insancerre Thu 06-Apr-17 18:16:55


TiggyD Thu 06-Apr-17 18:18:09

Should I post it too?

NapQueen Thu 06-Apr-17 18:18:40

So they basically want you to pay 4.60 per hour for your free hours!!! Thats crazy!!!

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:20:23

Send £9 and say you assumed that's what they asked for as its free funding so can't be £900can it???

TiggyD Thu 06-Apr-17 18:21:11

Depends Nap. Are you getting £8.60 worth of service?

NapQueen Thu 06-Apr-17 18:22:17

Id want to know what Im getting for the extra 4 quid an hour, yes.

HSMMaCM Thu 06-Apr-17 18:26:07

It's not really extra though nap. It's part of their normal provision, that the government has kindly offered as free and then only paid for half of it.

KP86 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:28:06

Is that $2700 for the year, based on 15 hours/week only? That's a HUGE top up.

I'd be happy with £2-2.50/hour as that brings it in line with normal fees.

Fruitcocktail6 Thu 06-Apr-17 18:32:14

I work in a preschool and we take on a few funded two year olds, we don't charge any extra for those 15 hours.

We have to charge the older children, despite the 'free 15 hours' as the rate of funding is so low. But we don't with the two year olds. £900 is ridiculous, in most cases, if you qualify for the free hours, you are on a very low income, it seems ridiculous to charge that much on top.

Pretty1729 Thu 06-Apr-17 19:02:34

Is the nursery part of a fee paying school? In which case you are essentially choosing private education over state education and £900 per term is reasonable. Wait until you get to pre-prep and prep, then you'll be wishing for £900 bills again!

Mendip17a Thu 06-Apr-17 19:12:18

Unfortunately the government lead parents to believe that the funding they provide is "free". Unfortunately this is heavily subsidised by early years settings. The funding does not cover the cost of delivering outstanding settings or practice. It also does not cover the cost of national living wage, minimum wage, pensions, the huge hike in business rates, maternity pay/cover sickness pay/cover or staff holidays. None of which are voluntary and must be paid for by the provider before they can even unlock in the mornings. I hope that makes it clearer for you.

SearchingforGrandparents Thu 06-Apr-17 19:17:42

Pretty it is Pre-Prep!

A private Pre-Prep Nursery x

SearchingforGrandparents Thu 06-Apr-17 19:19:00

HSMM I never once said that I thought that they were trying to fleece me? hmm

SearchingforGrandparents Thu 06-Apr-17 19:21:31

And thankyou for the patronising video Insan!

This happens to be a Nursery at a very well established local private College and by taking my child at 15 hours free which they have OFFERED to do and ADVERTISED I doubt they're going to have sleepless nights! hmm

HSMMaCM Thu 06-Apr-17 19:26:53

Searching. Apologies if I was misunderstood. You definitely did not say that, I was just pointing out that they are doing it for a sound business reason, not just to make money.

insancerre Thu 06-Apr-17 19:29:30

I don't think the video is patronising
It explains very well why the word "free" should be replaced with "funded"

Fruitcocktail6 Thu 06-Apr-17 19:35:18

I always use the phrase 'funded hours' rather than 'free' when discussing these things with parents at work

Pretty1729 Thu 06-Apr-17 19:35:49

Well as you've chosen private education I think you'll probably find the voluntary contribution is expected. Of course you can always choose a state nursery where you'll find there may be no fees associated with your funded place. I don't know where you live and demand could be high in your area, it's predicted that there will be a shortage of places due to the chronic under funding by the government so if you can secure a place now I'd take it!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: