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Free hours(10 Posts)
I'm sorry if this has been asked recently but I just can't seem to find a clear answer online.
DD will be starting nursery shortly, we aren't eligible for any help yet but should be ok for the 30 free hours when she's a bit older. DD will be at nursery over 3 days for 25 hours in total. I understand the 'free' hours are term time only so 38 weeks rather than 51 but is there usually a limit on the amount of hours a day we can claim? I saw on another thread some limit it to 6 hours? Obviously we'll be grateful for any saving as it's so expensive the first few years but given she's not there for 30 hours will we still be able to use some?
I just wondered if anyone has any experience with similar hours?
DS is too young for funding yet, but I know DNs nursery let SIL bank her unused hours (she did two days a week) and spread them over the year
Each nursery will have its own rules. However, you’ll generally find that the funding is insufficient so nurseries make sure they maximise what parents pay. For example, they’ll only allow a certain number of hours to be used out of the funded pot, charge extra for food, creams etc.
Having said that, they do have a clear pricing policy and before you choose one, you should be able to know exactly how much is payable with the funding.
Every nursery will have different criteria how you can use the hours. For example, some will just deduct 30 hours from your bill, other will have session times for free hours where you need to pay for the remaining hours eg. 9am-3pm or odd hours like 7:30am-1:30pm, some will charge over the odds for meals and snacks to recoup their costs on the free hours (they're not meant to but it happens).
You'll save a bit of money anyway but it might not end up as 30 hours in your pocket.
At my nursery the hours are spread over50 weeks, so something like 22hrs a week 'free'.
But you can only claim 3 of the 5 hours for a half day session and 6 of the 11hours for a full day.
Saving of around 50% each month
Ours had really clear rules.
Only max 6 hours funded per day, which to us was about 18 hours over the week. We technically could have used them elsewhere but there isn’t anything saying you have to use all 30 every week.
Each nursery applies it differently unfortunately. My nursery splits the funded hours across the year so it works out that we get 24 hours a week funded.
"some will charge over the odds for meals and snacks to recoup their costs on the free hours (they’re not meant to but it happens)
Out of interest, what do you consider to be "over the odds" for meals and snacks?
Are you aware that childcare providers are absolutely meant to charge in this way, and they have been positively encouraged to do so by the government since before the 30 hour funding was introduced?
Not having a go, but it’s important these misconceptions are addressed.
All nurseries are different. Ours used to limit to 6 hours per day at the very start and end of each day (so every session had a couple of mandatory private hours). Now they've changed it so you can get 10 of the 22 hours in a single day. The 'extras' charge is £2.50 per hour, I.e. £25 per fully funded day.
Bearing in mind the private (non-funded) daily rate for over 3's is £78.50, I don't think a £25 supplement is over the odds at all!!