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15 free hours query

(11 Posts)
Tobuyornot99 Mon 24-Apr-17 18:02:26

First time nursery hunter, found one I quite like but when I asked about the 15 hours free (thinking ahead a bit) the manager said it's actually 2 hours a day, from 9.15 -11.15. I naively assumed that I'd have 2 full days free (give or take a few hours), as I'm only planning on using 2 days a week due to shift work anyway. Is this pretty much industry standard? She also said it's term time only, so really only 10 hours per week. Any advice much appreciated.

SeveredPixieBits Mon 24-Apr-17 18:04:39

It varies from nursery to nursery how they let you use the hours. Ours is fine with using them in big blocks - ie two full days.

Tobuyornot99 Mon 24-Apr-17 18:08:45

Thanks Pixie It feels a bit like it's set up to only really benefit full time children, and I'll end up losing out a lot long term. The manager also said the money isn't deducted form the bill, but is rebated by LA. All sounds a bit tricky.

Fruitcocktail6 Mon 24-Apr-17 18:14:29

The funding received is quite minimal, so all nurseries will find ways of getting around it and being able to stay open and pay their staff.

It will be tricky to find somewhere that will just give you 15 free hours at anytime you want.

BackforGood Mon 24-Apr-17 18:14:29

Different Nurseries operate in different ways.
Some let you take it over 2 days, or the do "sessions" (8am - 1pm then 1pm - 6pm) and some do fixed times.
The bit about 'rebated by the LA' sounds weird.
I'd keep looking for a Nursery that suits your needs more.

HDAM Mon 24-Apr-17 18:14:32

They sound a bit dodgy to me!

We get ours deducted off the cost of the 3 days DS was already doing and they will do this for parents who are sending their child for more than the 15 hours. They will also split the cost over the year so we pay the same every month.

The nursery we use will offer 3 x 5 hours to those just wanting the free and obviously term time only.

FuzzyOwl Mon 24-Apr-17 18:19:59

My preferred nursery doesn't even offer it as it is over requested by parents willing to pay for all of the hours. As nurseries usually lose out with the hours they tend to find ways to make it suit them. In this case it sounds like it is bt encouraging parents to have their children in full time. Although the subsidiary is term time (starting the term after the child turns three) some nurseries will spread the discount throughout the year whereas others don't.

junglebookisthebest Mon 24-Apr-17 18:43:14

Depends on nursery. Ours is attached to a primary school and only operates term time so it's a genuine 15 hours per week but not during holiday times. It can be taken as either mornings, afternoons or 2.5 days.
The premises are the breakfast/after school/holiday club for the school so if you need wraparound care you can pay for it.
It works really well for us and as I've never requested additional hours I'be never paid them a penny. (Drop a few quid every couple of weeks in the honesty box for additional snacks)
It seems to be the norm around here for school attached nurseries...

Tobuyornot99 Mon 24-Apr-17 18:57:31

Thanks all. I think I'll book a place at the nursery, as it meetsy needs now, and worry about the future in a while. There is talk of 30 hours etc coming in, so I guess all providers will have a chance to change the way they operate then. I'm so stressed about returning to work I just need a plan sad.

mangomay Mon 24-Apr-17 19:04:13

The pre school I work at is term time only, but far more flexible with sessions than the one you've looked at. However, what PP have said about funding is true, the LA only pays around £3.50 p/h for 3 year olds and if we only had children doing their funded hours, we'd be operating at a loss until eventually we had to close. We're not offering the 30 hours because we're in a village hall and are only open for 27 hours due to other people using the hall.

HSMMaCM Tue 25-Apr-17 11:37:45

Most settings near me offer 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon term time only. They charge for additional hours and the LA gives them the government underpayment later in the term (this may be the rebate you mentioned).

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