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anyone know about pre-school vouchers for 3 year olds at private nursery?

(27 Posts)
AGD Thu 20-Aug-09 21:39:40

I know that when a child turns three they get 12.5 hours of free pre-school per week, but someone mentioned you can get some kind of credit or voucher if your 3 year old is in private pre-school. can anyone tell me if this is true and if so how it works and how much dosh we're talking about?

nice to think we might get cheaper childcare for dd in a few months...


CMOTdibbler Thu 20-Aug-09 21:43:46

DS is at private nursery full time and will get funding from September (it starts the term after they are 3). Nursery just gave us a form to fill in, then they sorted it all out. We get 220 quid off our September bill (invoice came today) which is fab

poorbuthappy Thu 20-Aug-09 21:45:02

I think it depends if your private nursery is registered as an education provider with the council.
If it is, I don't think vouchers are needed...if it isn't then no let up in the childcare costs.
Our council has all the registered nurseries on internet so we can check...

(for the record, I have fought the council about this along with my councillor cos there were other reasons for not approving them, and we found out last month that they have finally agreed to it! Too late for dd1, but ok for the twins in 2 years time!!)

poorbuthappy Thu 20-Aug-09 21:45:51

Sorry, missed out the bit about our local nursery not being approved!

choufleur Thu 20-Aug-09 21:47:39

i thought it was 15 hours, five three hours blocks.

crokky Thu 20-Aug-09 21:47:42

I got £387 off the bill for Apr, May, Jun

crokky Thu 20-Aug-09 21:48:05

I mean £387 in total for the 3 months, not £387 each month!

hf128219 Thu 20-Aug-09 21:48:56

It's going to be 15 hours for 38 weeks of the year from 2010!

As long as the nursery is registered - as pratically all will be, you will be entitled to it.

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 20-Aug-09 21:48:58

I will get £1425 off my annual nursery bill. Yippee! Naturally I will put this into a low risk, high income university account. Or I may just fritter it at M&S.

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Aug-09 21:49:39

Ask the nursery. As long as they are registered you will get a chunk (quite a sizeable one - it was about 1/3 off DS's bills in termtime) off the bill from the term after they turn 3 - also works for a lot of independent schools and can come off the school fees up to and including the term in which they turn 5 (January next year for DD - can't wait grin)

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Aug-09 21:50:41

'tis 15 hours for some 'pilot' LEAs already [smug].

choufleur Thu 20-Aug-09 21:55:29

oh we must be a pilot area as nursery said its up to 15 hours. grin

Also thought from next april 2 years old will get some funding.

hf128219 Thu 20-Aug-09 21:55:48

Are you saying you can money off private school fees too??

So my dd will be 5 in January 2013. She is going to go to school in September 2012....

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Aug-09 21:59:43

choufleur - 2yo funding is very means tested.

hf - it depends if the school can be bothered claiming it as it is a lot of hassle and paperwork for them, but if they can/do then you would get funding for 2 terms (we got it for the whole of YR and first term of Y1).

hf128219 Thu 20-Aug-09 22:04:24

Thanks stealth - that is interesting! smile

M1SSUNDERSTOOD Thu 20-Aug-09 22:20:27

When is the 15 hours funding starting from in 2010 - the beginning of year or the new academic year - does anyone know?

LilRedWG Thu 20-Aug-09 22:24:42

DD at a private nursery - she will get 15 hours funded from September (she turned three in May). All we have to do is sign a form once a term and the nursery sort the rest.

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Aug-09 22:26:09

That is because you live in the same 'pilot' county as me, LilRed (Hello - how are you - long time no see grin)

KembleTwins Thu 20-Aug-09 22:27:57

It's different depending on where you live. Had all sorts of probs at the beginning of this week trying to sort it out for DTs who were 3 last month and therefore eligable. From what I can gather, it's 12.5 hours per week in most areas, and 15 in others (15 everywhere from 2010 but don't know if Jan or Sept) and the amount of money paid depends on where you live. Also, nurseries etc can choose to cap the number of hours of LEA funding they will accept. DTs nursery will only accept 3 hours each morning, even thought their morning session is 4 hours. Nurseries are not allowed to charge top-up fees, but can charge for extra hours and stuff like lunch. It varies considerably, though - my sis has a better deal where she lives than we do here. It's worth checking out specific details with your nursery, you LEA or the FIS. However, if your nursery is registered (and most are, as hf says) they legally have to let you have "just" the free stuff if you want it - ie I could put my DTs in for 3 hours of the 4 hour session, 38 weeks per year, and pay nothing, even though the nursery is open for longer and for more weeks, if that makes sense.
It's not as simple as I thought it would be angry and nurseries don't always want to be upfront with the facts - understandably, I suppose, as it might mean them losing out on cash.

KembleTwins Thu 20-Aug-09 22:29:44

I thought 15 hours would be 15 hours. Actually, DTs are only going to be getting 9. We pay for the other 3 (3 lots of 4 hours in total) which I was hmm about.

EldonAve Thu 20-Aug-09 22:33:55

we get about £500 off a term here in London

the preschool will give you a form to fill in

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Aug-09 22:37:07

Kemble - with the increase to 15 hours also comes more flexibility about how you use your 'free' hours, but I have no idea if that will remain true when they roll out beyond the initial pilot.

ThingOne Thu 20-Aug-09 22:38:03

My DS2 starts his vouchers in a few weeks. I was delighted to discover that you now get "12.5 hours" rather than "5 x 2.5hr sessions". My DS2 will have three mornings at nursery and pretty much all I'll have to pay for is lunch and the lunch hour care.

For my DS1 it was five sessions with no more than two in one day, even for a full eight hour day.

As ever there seem to be a zillion different ways the grant can be used.

KembleTwins Thu 20-Aug-09 22:42:00

stealth - I thought the 15 hours would be more flexible than it was, but it seems nurseries are allowed to choose for themselves. DT's nursery will allow more than 3 hours of LEA grant in the afternoons, as they are less busy, but mornings it's 3 hours only.
It really does seem to vary from LEA to LEA, and, within that, from setting to setting - it seems there are no hard and fast rules.

We're sorted now, thankfully, but I've been quite cross about the whole thing.

EldonAve Fri 21-Aug-09 12:42:03

direct gov link says that once it rises to 15 hours in 2010 it should be flexible over min 3 days

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