My ds has been accepted to his 1st choice preschool and we got a letter inviting us to an open night soon but on the letter it says there is a £20 registration fee and I was under the impression that a funded place meant I wouldn't have to pay anything. Sorry if this is obvious to some but I'm kinda new to this
In theory, you don't have to pay for a funded place, but in practice, most LAs pay a lower hourly rate than the Nursery / Pre-school needs to charge to pay all their expenses - staff, materials, cover for training and meetings, cover for annual leave and sickness, staff pensions, building costs, utilities, resources for the dc, food, etc.,etc.etc. Hence, they have to be more and more creative about how they balance the books.
I've not come across a registration fee of more than a couple of ££ to cover costs of printing out all the policies, etc., but I'm not hugely surprised.
Round our way lots of places charge an admin fee of £20 for going on the waiting list. Most kids are put on the list for a 3 year old place at birth. They know there will be considerable drop off as families move and circumstances change.
It's not ideal, but I think these places are doing everything they can to creatively fundraise when funding per head is so poor.