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Nursery term time dates for EYEF don't match school term dates.

(32 Posts)
Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 14:10:31

DD(3.5) attends a private nursery for 15 hours per week using the government funded entitlement. Went to drop her off this morning and was told that the term time funded places were not available today ( also the Friday before half term) but it was fine for her to stay if I wanted to pay privately. The manager went on to say that instead the term time only funded children are being funded for an extra few days at the end of term (i.e. the start of the Christmas holidays for all the local schools).

I understand (from MN!) that nurseries are in a dire place financially because of the government's underfunding and am guessing this is a way of trying to claw some money back. I wonder how many preschoolers with school age siblings attended today anyway even though they weren't funded and payed the extra. And realistically, how many parents with school age children are going to drop their preschooler off at nursery in the first week of the Christmas holidays? Meals and snacks are paid for in advance so will still have to paid for during those days even if you know in advance that they're not going to be there. So almost certainly the nursery will benefit financially from this arrangement. Does anyone know of any other reasons besides the reason I have suggested why the nursery term dates would differ from every other school in the area?

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GinYummy Mon 30-Oct-17 14:17:09

Schools normally have 39 weeks of funding and funded early years providers only recieve 38 from my own experience.
They also don't have to offer the same term dates.
As you said yourself many nurseries are struggling financially. Maybe they had to have different dates to the school to accommodate staff holiday/training rather than pay for agency staff?

Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 16:01:46

Isn't the 39 weeks for staff ( including inset days)? Our school has 190 days which divided by 5 is exactly 38 weeks. The nursery seems to be doing a similar number of days but distributed differently with some of them falling in school hols.

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Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 16:07:32

It could have been for staff training, but if so it would only have been for one staff member at a time. The nursery stayed open for privately funded children and they said straight away that my daughter could stay if I wanted to pay so they must have had the staff there.

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youarenotkiddingme Mon 30-Oct-17 16:13:34

If they didn't give term dates in advance then I think you have a good place to start commenting about the way they do things.

You are right - school children attend 38 weeks (technically!) as the other 5 days are inset. However in reality they attend 39 weeks of which 5 are 4 day weeks due to inset and the odd 4 day week due to BH.

If the nursery are only offering certain weeks/ certain term dates for funded children they should advertise this. It's very bad practice to just tell a parent and child on arrival "go home or pay!"

Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 18:49:33

They said the dates were in their last newsletter which I'll take their word for as I've thrown mine away. Can't find anything about term dates on the website. Just made me wonder how do private nurseries define 'term term funding' - is there actually any requirement to fit in with the term dates published by the County Council?

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Snap8TheCat Mon 30-Oct-17 18:52:21

The LA will determine the weeks but the individual settings are told to set their inset/training days. Perfectly normal in my (vast) experience.

Ecureuil Mon 30-Oct-17 18:55:25

I think it is normal. My DC go to a term time only pre school, but their term dates are different to the primary school less than 50 yards away!

Lindy2 Mon 30-Oct-17 18:56:28

EYFS terms don't quite match school terms.
The nursery should prepublish their term dates though as they should know which weeks ae funded for the 2017/18 school year and which aren't.

Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 19:59:39

Ok. Sounds like it's quite common then. I checked the council 2017-2018 school timetable and today was shown in white i.e. a school day, not a holiday and not an inset day.

Copied from the county timetable :
This calendar applies to community schools, community special schools, VC schools and nursery schools and sets the days on which school transport will be provided. While most Foundation, VA, foundation special, free schools and academy trusts who are able to set their own dates, adopt the Model, we advise you^^ to check with your child's school before making holiday or other commitments.
So I would assume that being a private nursery where school transport isn't offered that it doesn't have to follow the guidelines for term dates. Although it does say nursery schools in the first line.

Made me wonder though, if a private nursery offered 'term time only' funding but then decided to completely make up its own term dates e.g. 4 terms of 9 - 10 weeks each including the whole of August, could they do it? Totally hypothetical of course.

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Snap8TheCat Mon 30-Oct-17 20:13:59

No as we said the borough fix the weeks that tto funding is claimed but they need to add their 5 inset day in to those weeks or you’d be getting 39 weeks of care for only 38 weeks of payment.

The inset days have to be different between settings so staff can get on training course or book trainers to attend their setting.

Snap8TheCat Mon 30-Oct-17 20:14:56

They can ‘stretch’ the funding across the whole year though which seems to be more similar to what you’re suggesting.

Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 21:27:15

But aren't the settings told to choose their inset days from the 'yellow days' on the calendar? This was a white (term time) day.

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Snap8TheCat Mon 30-Oct-17 21:29:51

Count up all the ‘white days’ and you will have your answer.

fucksakefay Mon 30-Oct-17 21:30:03

Inset days are on term time though so no obligation to be on holiday time?
Just double check your dates

Snap8TheCat Mon 30-Oct-17 21:33:15

And you’ve admitted you threw the Newsletter with the nursery’s term dates on so not sure why you’re trying to make out they are the ones in the wrong?!

Appuskidu Mon 30-Oct-17 21:38:47

but aren't the settings told to choose their inset days from the 'yellow days' on the calendar? This was a white (term time) day

Which calendar are you looking at? Usually there is an LEA calendar with the term dates on but schools take that proforma and add their own 5 insets on.

If it was in their newsletter then I'm not quite sure what you're complaining about-you need to read that!

youarenotkiddingme Mon 30-Oct-17 21:47:20

Independent establishments can set whatever term dates and term length they want.

That why private schools often do loner days, Saturday school and have 10 weeks summer holiday and 2 weeks for each half term and the usual 2 weeks end of term.

Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 22:13:26

Snap8thecat - I'm not arguing that they didn't tell me. I'm pointing out the fact that their definition of term time doesn't correspond to anyone else's. They have taken some days out of published school term time dates and added them on at a later date at a point when all the schoolchildren are on holiday.
So they're still offering the same number of tto funded days but some of them aren't during school term time, and there are some school term time days that aren't funded at nursery. Confusing!

Re the 38/39 weeks, I have counted up the white days on the county calendar for all state run schools and nurseries and there are 190 which is 38 full weeks. Staff training dates are to be selected from the yellow dates so this is unchanged.
I have also looked up the early years funding and it says 570 hours per year are funded which at 15 hours per week works out as 38 full weeks exactly. So the number of days eligible for early years funding should match the number of days the schools are open to pupils.

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Mycarsmellsoflavender Mon 30-Oct-17 22:34:11

I've checked an online copy of the claim form we were given too. The one issued by the council where you have to count up all the Mondays etc and multiply by the number of hours. It showed today 30/10/17 as eligible for funding whereas the days after the end of school term aren't. I'm wasn't aware that they'd altered it from the published version although I suppose they could have done. The plot thickens...think I'll ask them when she next goes in.

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Snap8TheCat Tue 31-Oct-17 06:36:35

Ah you’re one of those parents. I’ll leave you to it. Good luck.

SocksRock Tue 31-Oct-17 06:43:28

If it’s a private nursery, and you are getting 570 hours over the year, there isn’t really anything you can do. They are fulfilling the requirements of the scheme. Private settings can stretch the funding over 52 weeks if they want.

SavageCabbage Tue 31-Oct-17 07:08:14

Ordinary schools can pick,their own INSET days and their own holidays. My dd’s perfectly ordinary Junior school has changed it’s Christmas holidays this year so they are different from the rest of the county. It’s up to us as the parents to make sure we know when they are at school and when they aren’t.

Mycarsmellsoflavender Tue 31-Oct-17 07:33:07

This one. Not very easy to read as it's a screenshot but is shows the half term break as ending last Friday. Willing to bet I wasn't the only one who turned up yesterday as the manager was waiting at the door which is unusual. No term dates published on the nursery website so the only notification was at the bottom of a newsletter given out about 2 weeks ago which I didn't check against the school dates as in the past they have always matched.

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kuniloofdooksa Tue 31-Oct-17 08:43:15

Aren't you lucky that the first few days of the summer holidays when most of us are trying to juggle secret Christmas preparations with childcare of kids who mustn't see what you are doing - you get childcare simply and easily when many other settings are closed. Bonus!

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