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Free hours in Scotland

(7 Posts)
KateTTC123 Wed 19-Dec-18 10:58:13

I have a question about the, at the moment 16, but soon to be 30 hours of free childcare for 3-4 year olds. My lo is currently 1.5 but we have another on the way so thinking ahead. With our nursery (a private one) they say they do the hours and just take them off your fees. However, rather than offering 30 actual hours, they just take the amount of money the government is paying off the fees. My worry is that this won't work out anything like 30 hours a week as they charge way more (£50 a day; 7.30-5.30pm). This means it will be like just getting a small discount off the total rather than 30 hours (term time). Can anyone confirm that this is allowed and also the value of the hours in £. Am I better looking for a council nursery near my work instead? I work 8.5 hours a day and travel 40 mins each way so I need longer days than I think most council nurseries provide. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Acorncat Wed 19-Dec-18 17:56:39

I think that's the standard way to do it here, they just literally give you back the money they get from the government for your child. I looked up the cost before, I think it's around £3.50 per hour for the current 16 hours, it may vary by council though.

KateTTC123 Wed 19-Dec-18 20:22:18

Darn. Sounds like we would be better looking for a council nursery.

OP’s posts: |
Looneytune253 Wed 19-Dec-18 20:30:57

Wow they’re not allowed to do that in England. It needs to be removed by hours not pounds. It’s tough on the childcare providers though as the gov don’t pay anywhere near their hourly rate and they just have to suck it up

HSMMaCM Thu 20-Dec-18 14:47:08

Try and think of them as government funded hours, rather than free hours. The government don't pay for them, so childcare settings have to make up the difference somehow. This can be charging extra for meals and activities, charging more to the under 3s, giving set hours for funding etc. In England we aren't allowed to simply deduct the funding from the bill and many settings are going out of business. Just find the best setting you can afford for your children, whether it's private or council nursery.

itsaboojum Fri 21-Dec-18 09:01:24

I only wish England did something similar to the Scottish funding system. Then childcare providers could charge realistic fees that might make them sustainable in the long term. Instead we have nurseries existing on a financial precipice, and parents outraged that "free" childcare has to subsidised by other means.

Youngandfree Fri 21-Dec-18 09:11:16

I don’t understand so you get 30hrs free but you still pay?? Here in rep of Ireland we get 8.30 to 12 free everyday. It’s 4 per hour after that so I pay from 12- 3.30 (I’m a teacher) so that’s 14 per day.

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