How will the 30 free hours help with costs? (3 full days)

(17 Posts)
Galaxygirl93 Sun 05-Jan-20 22:31:13


Just trying to do some budgeting for the future! When my son is 3 he will be eligible for the 30 hours free nursery. He currently attends all year, 3 days a week, 8-6. The nursery is £56 a day for 2 year olds.

When the 30 hours kicked in for some of you, did the nursery bill drop dramatically?

OP’s posts: |
heartonastring Sun 05-Jan-20 22:37:15

Can't help but I'm in a similar position and so I'm following with interest

HighwayCat Sun 05-Jan-20 22:40:30

It really seems to depend how your nursery deals with it. Some - like mine - will just let you use the 30 hours as you want, others restrict it to certain sessions so you have to pay for wrap around care and may not be able to use all your hours. The 30 hours is also only for 38 weeks of the year - some places will let you stretch it over the holidays but obviously then the amount of hours per week drops down; some won’t let you stretch it so you have a big bill over the holidays. There is very likely to be some kind of top up fee still needed, it may only be a few pounds a session and strictly speaking it’s only supposed to apply as a charge for something you could provide yourself such as lunch.

HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 05-Jan-20 22:42:40

So he does 30 hours a week now? If he stays at that you'll get that free for 38 weeks of the year and have to pay for however many other weeks he goes.

Our nursery also charges for food for the free days.

Woeisme99 Sun 05-Jan-20 22:43:40

You may get it for £30 a week, it may be £100, as pp says it depends how the nursery apply the "free" hours. Don't get your hopes up too much, check with them directly.

mummytooneprincess Sun 05-Jan-20 22:44:57

I'm following with interest too. My daughter's start tomorrow. I think it varies from nursery to nursery. We can spread ours evenly over 50 weeks of the year which is helpful. However we can only use 6 hours per day, none before 8am and none after 5pm. The additional / non funded hours are charged at a much higher rate

Nonnymum Sun 05-Jan-20 22:45:48

You won't get the 30hours until the term after he is 3. So eg if he is 3 in January you won't be eligible until after Easter.
Also the funded hours are spread over 38 weeks. How much you save will depend on your nursery. They can charge for any extras such as meals, trips etc that they might not charge for if you are paying them fees. And they may charge at a higher rate for the hours you will still have to pay for abjv ethe funded hours. The best way for you to know how it will work for you is to talk to the nursery and your local authority.


MadeForThis Sun 05-Jan-20 22:46:34

Some nurseries might only offer free hours 9-3 each day (or any combination of hours) you would then need to pay for early not hours and from 3-Close. Possibly charges for meals etc.

Only way to know is to speak to your Nursery.

LucieLucie Sun 05-Jan-20 22:49:11

So your nursery operates at a cost to parents of £5.60 per hour normally.

This government debacle of 'free hours' is not what it seems as the funding the government pay to the providers is usually lower than their normal rates, meaning there's a shortfall or gap.

Say the funding rate is £4.50, that leaves a shortfall of £11 per day, which the nursery may have to charge you in 'consumables' in order to keep running without a loss.

Still, paying £11 per day rather than £56 is certainly much better, it is not 'free'.

makingmiracles Sun 05-Jan-20 22:53:54

Just to add- because I had no idea, the additional 15hrs that you get for working more than 16hrs, you have to apply online for it and you don’t get it until the term after you apply. For example, I was looking into this in Oct, told I could apply if I had my contract, but the hours wouldn’t be given till next term ie January.

Complete news to me as I assumed the extra 15hrs would be like the normal 15hrs, sign some forms at the nursery and that’s it, it’s not!

If you’re working the required amount already I think you can apply the term during which he’s three, ready for the following term.

DinoGreen Mon 06-Jan-20 07:00:01

If it helps, my DS’s nursery charges dropped from £1,120 pm to £660 for four full days a week ie approximately halved. For three days I think the charges go down from about £850 pm to £350. Our nursery doesn’t have any restrictions on how many hours a day etc you can use the funding, but spreads it out over the full 52 weeks a year so it’s approx 22 funded hours a week against a 10 hour (8-6) nursery day.

definitelyshouldknowbetter Tue 07-Jan-20 20:49:36

All nurseries are different, the old nursery we used calculated it at

-the hourly rate they receive x30

-that figure x 38=total funding amount

-then total amount due for the year at their daily rate-the total funding amount

-the yearly figure was then divided by 12 so we paid the same figure every month

My current nursery does it differently and we get an invoice every three months so at the minute I’m only paying £67 a month for three days a week but when it comes to the summer holidays my bill will hike up so I’m paying more into my tax free account at the minute so I don’t need to find a load more cash to pay for July and August.

On that point if you’re eligible for the tax free scheme you can use it alongside the 30 hours so you effectively get another 20% off your child care bill, unless you already use the voucher scheme

boomboom1234 Tue 07-Jan-20 21:33:39

My daughter goes three days and it's about £168 a month with the free hours

SMaCM Fri 10-Jan-20 07:54:14

Just remember it might not be a straightforward calculation. As a PP said, the government don't pay for everything, so there might be additional consumables charges for the 30 hours.

Tumbleweed101 Sun 12-Jan-20 08:43:47

You need to get information from your nursery as to how they apply the funding - ie which hours are funded hours. They may or may not offer funding ‘stretched’ through the year. There may be extra charges for food and consumables to allow them to bridge the gap between the true costs and pitiful funding rates from the government. Keep in mind these vary throughout the country and the local council also take a cut before it reaches providers of the care. Some nurseries may not even be getting £4 per hour per child but need £6 to stay afloat.

ElluesPichulobu Sun 12-Jan-20 09:13:15

it completely depends on the nursery.

the £56 per day represents the real cost of providing the care you want - but how many hours is a "day" - if £56 is what your nursery charges for a 10 hour day and they are happy for you to use your 30 hours in 3 blocks of 10 hours then that is very different than if £56 is the cost for a 7 hour day.

the government will pay the provider c£5.56 per hour. if the cost without the free hours is £56 for a 7 hour day then that costs £8 per hour and the nursery will be losing money accepting this.

different nurseries have different strategies to deal with this. they aren't allowed to charge a direct top-up but they need to do something to be able to make ends meet or they will go out of business and everyone loses. so don't expect it to be entirely free. they may limit you to taking no more than 6 hours free per day and requiring that you pay for the rest for example. don't begrudge this, they are operating on a shoestring and if they can't get thre income they need to operate then it's the children who lose out.

remember that the 30 hours is term-time only too. if your nursery operates year- round they may average out the free hours, or they may charge full whack in the school holidays.

SMaCM Sun 12-Jan-20 13:21:27

the government will pay the provider c£5.56 per hour

I wish this was true. My payment is over £1 less than this. It depends on the area.

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