30h free funding meal charge - can I claim this back through UC?

(20 Posts)
Toastedsesame Mon 29-Mar-21 20:45:44

My 3yo son goes to nursery one morning and one full day. The meal charge is £10 a day. This adds up to £80 a month, which is quite a lot for us as a family.

Up until now I hadn't considered that we may be able to claim it back through universal credit, does anyone know if you can?

OP’s posts: |
Jessbow Mon 05-Apr-21 09:14:03

do you have the option of sending your own meals /snacks? UC Aside, that sounds a lot

Toastedsesame Mon 05-Apr-21 09:59:59

Thanks for replying @Jessbow I asked but they won't allow children to bring in a packed lunch, no.

OP’s posts: |
ChipsAreLife Mon 05-Apr-21 10:05:24

£10 a day is loads! I'm in the SE and wouldn't expect it to be that. I would question what they're eating for that?

Toastedsesame Mon 05-Apr-21 14:34:22

Is it loads? I mean it seems like it but I wasn't sure what the norm was. We pay £10 on the day he has a half day as well, even though he has half the meals. Do you think I should question it?

OP’s posts: |
Shieldingending Mon 05-Apr-21 15:53:59

I’d question that! It sounds a lot

Smarshian Mon 05-Apr-21 15:57:42

That sounds a lot! For reference ours is 60p for breakfast, £2.40 for lunch (main hot meal), £1.20 dinner (something lighter eg beans on toast) 40p per snack (one morning and one afternoon)
So if there for the whole day works out at £5


Potpourriandpennysweets Mon 05-Apr-21 15:57:46

For my DC it was about £10 a week not £10 a day that seems like a lot! Couldn't get it back on UC, but as I said only couple of quid a day so wasn't a big thing, £10 a day seems very costly

geminiflanagan Mon 05-Apr-21 16:04:42

Nah £10 is taking the piss! We paid £5 for hot lunch and light afternoon snack. Toast/cereal plus fruit was 80p for breakfast if needed.

I would definitely query that cost, plus the having to pay the same on a half day.

Samcartys Mon 05-Apr-21 16:18:08

I am West Midlands and my dd’s nursery charges £2 per day. Definitely query.

Looneytune253 Mon 05-Apr-21 16:20:20

They must (legally) offer the option of a packed lunch. They have to offer a free option for low income families. It's in the funding contracts.

THATbasicSNOWFLAKE Mon 05-Apr-21 16:21:02

Are you sure they arent charging for a period of time inc lunch e.g. 11-12

THATbasicSNOWFLAKE Mon 05-Apr-21 16:22:16

What i mean is some will say funding cant be used during certain hours e.g. the lunch period

GrumpySausage Mon 05-Apr-21 16:22:32

That does seems a lot. We pay £5 a day for my DD. East Midlands.

17bluebirds Mon 05-Apr-21 18:55:31


They must (legally) offer the option of a packed lunch. They have to offer a free option for low income families. It's in the funding contracts.

That is not correct. In our LA we must have a genuine free offer of 15 hours. This can be 5 mornings of 9am -12 pm. Or 5 afternoon of 1pm -4pm
There is no obligation to allow packed lunches.
At my nursery if a child is there over lunch they have to pay for a meal. If they don't want to pay, they can use the free hours 9-12 and/or 1-4

We charge £4 for a 2 course cooked lunch and £3 for a 2 course cooked tea. Snacks are included in the hourly rate.
£10 is a little steep, though.

Toastedsesame Mon 05-Apr-21 20:15:24

I've just checked the t&c I received when we first started using the nursery. "A £10 charge per day which will cover all the meals and snacks we provide plus any other extracurricular activities, such as forest school, this charge will only apply during "term times".

I think I'm going to question it, don't want to seem stingy as its a lovely nursery and I know the staff work very hard, but also - we're paupers sad

OP’s posts: |
17bluebirds Mon 05-Apr-21 20:20:10

I guess if that's the contract you agreed to, there isn't much you can do.
It's quite common, as the funding the nursery gets from the local authority isn't enough to cover all their costs.
So they are allowed to charge extra for anything above the basic 'education '

notthemum Mon 05-Apr-21 23:05:44

Does sound a lot. Unfortunately you CANNOT claim it back through UC.
You could speak to them but quite honestly I don't think it will make any difference. Sorry.

Tumbleweed101 Tue 06-Apr-21 14:32:46

I believe that there has to be a completely free way of taking the 15hrs. This may mean limiting the times the child can attend. For example, only 9-12 every day rather than full days. Speak to your nursery most will be willing to discuss options for a family genuinely struggling.

THATbasicSNOWFLAKE Tue 06-Apr-21 14:54:51

Some settings offer 9-12 and 1-4 as funded hours, this can cover the 30 hours a week but you either pay for 12-1 each day or take your child out for the hour

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