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30 hours entitlement help!!

(34 Posts)
DaisyDeee Tue 19-Sep-17 22:22:53

Hi, I really hope someone can help me with this query because I can't find an answer anywhere!

We have registered for the 30 hours free funding and have received our eligibility code and passed it on to the nursery. They are offering the 30 hours and will also allow us to stretch it across 50 weeks. This is where the confusion comes in. My little one attends 2 days a week for a total of 16 hours. The guidance online says that we are eligible for 30 hours per week - multiplied by 38 weeks this is 1140 hours per year, which can also be 'stretched' as our nursery is offering. So I had worked out that 1140 hours divided by 50 weeks is 22.8 hours per week. My daughter attends for 16 hours per week so her place would be free.

However, the nursery has said that I have to calculate it not based on 30 hour eligibility, but on how many hours she actually attends. So their calculation goes like this: 16 hours x 38 weeks = 608 hours per year. 608 divided by 50 weeks = 12 hours per week. As my daughter attends for 16 hours, we then have to pay for the additional 4 hours per week. Is this right?? I just can't get my head around this logic and can't seem to find a definitive answer - I called the government helpline and they said the nursery are wrong but that I have to speak to our local authority, but I've left messages with them and not had a response and I have to confirm with the nursery ASAP.

I've found other nurseries online who are offering stretched options for people to do 22.5 hours per week for free so I can't understand why my daughter's place isn't free when she attends less than 22.5 hours.

I know the massive issues that there are with this funding programme for nurseries and also know that 4 hours a week isn't a lot to have to pay but it's more the fact that I just can't get my head around it and I'm not certain the nursery is right (they have previously incorrectly calculated our fees quite significantly). Happy to be proved wrong, I just need a definitive answer so I can move on in life!

Can anyone please advise? I would be so grateful! Thank you smile

HSMMaCM Wed 20-Sep-17 08:44:34

It's a strange way to calculate it, but they can offer the hours any way they want. It's probably the only way for them to make it work.

They could offer you all 16, but they don't have to.

Tweetinat Thu 21-Sep-17 22:28:23

DaisyDee - the 30 hours bring offered 'free' is only for 38 weeks of the year. If your daughter attends for more than that (I'm assuming 50 from your post) then the nursery are 100% correct in their calculation.

They are only allowed to claim for the number of hours your daughter actually attends - which is 16. And they'll only get 16 x 38 hours of funding (602 hours).

Your daughter attends 50 weeks, so is provided with 800 hours of care over the year.

You are simply being asked to pay for the remaining 198 hours.

To make it easier for parents, they're allowing you to receive a reduced bill for your entire 50 weeks. If they didn't do this, you'd have 38 weeks entirely free, and pay for the remaining 12 weeks of 16 hours each. By 'stretching' the funding, they're allowing you to budget throughout the year.

JoJoSM2 Thu 21-Sep-17 23:17:32

That just means they aren't stretching anything. They basically want you to pay for anything beyond 38 weeks regardless of the number of hours. They've just twisted it to get a top up every week instead of charging for non-term time.

JoJoSM2 Thu 21-Sep-17 23:21:31

Tweetinat, on the government website it says 1140 hours a year. Not a word about it being in term time only. What's your source for it bring only available in term time?

HSMMaCM Fri 22-Sep-17 06:33:08

It's 30 hours per week for 38 weeks. Some settings are giving a stretched offer. That's entirely their choice. They don't have to.

Tweetinat Fri 22-Sep-17 07:26:30

Source: am admin for a preschool and manage all the funding with the LEA. Just as soon as I've got my kids to school, I'll reference the actual guidance from the government. It is absolutely 100% definitively term time only.

Tweetinat Fri 22-Sep-17 08:19:06

So the problem comes down to the fact that this has been very poorly advertised and worded by the government. In fact, they've recently changed the wording in our LEA to call it Extended Hours, rather than 30 hours, to emphasise the fact that it's extending the 15 hour offer (and subject to the same restrictions of this funding, i.e. term time only). Unfortunately, this isn't consistent through other LEAs or even central government.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/629544/Early_years_entitlements-operational_guidance.pdf pages 23, 24 and 25 (I think) talk about the model, and how providers can charge their usual hours for anything taken outside of the 38 weeks.

Yes, it's confusing for parents and exactly why a group of early years providers have grouped together to lobby the government to make changes to how it's advertised (and funded, but that's a whole different story).

Having been to many briefings and Skype presentations about how this is being rolled out, and how to administer it, I can assure you that the provider is correctly stretching the entitlement across the 50 weeks that they're open.

JoJoSM2 Fri 22-Sep-17 08:23:16

Tweetinat, they are confusing parents then... on the gov website it says however many hours a year but clearly that's not what the rules given to nurseries are... What a mess...

DaisyDeee Fri 22-Sep-17 08:26:11

Thank you so much for your replies everyone - might not be the answer I was hoping for(!) but at least it makes sense now! Appreciate it smile

Tweetinat Fri 22-Sep-17 08:35:03

JoJo - yes, it's a bloody farce. And that's before we even touch on the fact that providers are being paid much less than their usual rates means that nurseries and preschools are losing money hand over fist to offer these hours. Many places are closing as a result, as even if they make the decision not to offer the scheme, parents are finding other providers and leaving them. It's a complete mess. Google champagne nurseries on lemonade budgets to find out more.

Hugepeppapigfan Wed 27-Sep-17 23:44:39

My nursery offers the 30 hours for 38 weeks OR 22 hours for 50 weeks. Genuinely stretched offer. Genuinely free. We can claim for all of these hours.... your nursery is wrong. Although they might just be trying to recoup some costs. :-/

Tweetinat Thu 28-Sep-17 07:38:36

No, her nursery isn't wrong. Seriously, just read the guidance linked further up-thread.

Hugepeppapigfan Thu 28-Sep-17 18:52:10

I am a state school nursery teacher operating 30 hours term time only. I also run a private setting which offers 30 hours term time only or 22 hours 50 weeks. If OPs setting is operating the way OP stated then that is fine and within the rules BUT it is not correct for them to say that they MUST calculate it that way. That is not true. They could give the OP 16 hours over the whole year within the 'free' entitlement.

Hugepeppapigfan Thu 28-Sep-17 18:56:29

Also tellingly the OP says that the government helpline has stated that the nursery is wrong!

Tweetinat Thu 28-Sep-17 19:44:07

We'll have to agree to disagree. I work in a term time only preschool dealing with all funding claims for the LEA and certainly in my LEA you cannot deliver the hours the way you are suggesting.

30 hours a week over term time is 22 hours per week over 50, but that 22 hour assumes that the child is attending 30 hours over the 38 week period (after all, you calculate it by taking 30x38 /50)

The 30 hours is an extension of the 15 hour scheme, so it's subject to the same restrictions as the universal funding i.e. funding is paid for term time attendance only, although the child may attend the setting a year. Therefore, the extended 15 hours have to be stretched in the same way as the universal hours.

Put it this way, if the OP was claiming just universal hours of 15 a week (only one less than she attends), then she'd get EITHER 15 hours over 38 weeks OR if she wanted it stretched over 50, it would be 11.4 hours per week. By adding an extra hours attendance, why would she suddenly get ALL her hours free? That extra hour is subject to the same rules, and will stretch in the same way, to give fractionally over 12 hours per week of funding.

The operational guidance linked even gives examples of stretched funding to support what I'm saying.

Maybe your LEA does it differently (and we all know they all seem to interpret the guidelines as they want to) but my LEA and seemingly the OPs are following them to the letter.

Hugepeppapigfan Thu 28-Sep-17 19:52:08

Why would she get all her hours free? Because she's entitled to it!!!! She's entitled to up to 30 hours over 38 weeks OR 22 over 50 weeks. She's wanting 16 hours over 50 weeks. Well within her entitlement.

Tweetinat Thu 28-Sep-17 20:10:34

But can't you see that the 22 hours stretched, is the maximum they get IF they attend for 30 hours over 38 weeks.

If they attend for a lesser number of hours over the qualifying 38 weeks, then their stretched entitlement decreases pro-rata.

I don't know how many different ways I can explain it. You clearly believe you're right, as do I. I've had our position checked by our LEA and I'm confident that what I'm saying is correct. I said before, let's agree to disagree.

Tweetinat Thu 28-Sep-17 20:11:49

Do you agree that 15 hours per week of universal funding gets stretched to 11.4 hours over 50 weeks?

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 28-Sep-17 20:15:50

You get 30 hours over 38 weeks or 22 over 52. Just register your dc for 22 hours a weeks all year. You do not have to do 30 hours a week to claim for 22.

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 28-Sep-17 20:16:36

Tweet sorry but you are wrong. You can do 22 hours a week over a year and no more.

Tweetinat Thu 28-Sep-17 20:33:34

Not in my LEA. They've explicitly said you can't do what you're suggesting.

Hugepeppapigfan Thu 28-Sep-17 20:46:13

Tweet why are you SO sure that others posting are wrong and not your LA? The government helpline has said that the OPs nursery is wrong. There are now two of us saying the same.....

HSMMaCM Thu 28-Sep-17 20:46:32

My LA would allow the 30 hours stretched even if they attend less hours over 38 weeks. As long as they attend the claimed hours over the year.

It seems to be another difference between LAs.

Hugepeppapigfan Thu 28-Sep-17 20:48:03

"But can't you see that the 22 hours stretched, is the maximum they get IF they attend for 30 hours over 38 weeks.". This bit makes no sense.

If they get 30 hours term time then they get NO stretched hours as the full entitlement is used up.

22 hours 50 weeks is the full stretched entitlement and this is what the OP can get. Perhaps not from her current nursery but they are wrong (as are you) to say it cannot be done.

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