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pre-school funding - how nuch is it and how is it worked out?

(42 Posts)
MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 11:23:38

My 3 year old goes to a day nursery 2 days a week. I am concerned I am not benefitting from the full amount of funding. Whenever I ask them they are really vague and I cant get a straight answer. I know you are entitled to 5 sessions but as he only goes 2 full days is he only getting 2? Does that mean I migh be better off sendinghim 3 days which I am considering? Also the amount keeps changing. He goes 2 full days which is £416.50 per month. this is what he had taken off, does it look right?

Jan-Apri - £97.90
May-Aug - £106.80
Sept- - £128.80

Why does the amount keep changing?

Does anyone know how it is worked out?

mrsmalumbas Mon 01-Sep-08 11:30:57

It may be different for you but here's how it works in our preschool which is a local committee-run one. A session is usually a half day (three hours) and three year olds are entitled to 15 hours funded i.e free. Parents just pay the difference i.e anything over 15 hours - the nursery does the application for the funded hours directly. The amount doesn't vary unless the childs attendance pattern varies.

Where do you live? Your local county council should be able to give you info. They don't sound a very helpful nursery!

Oblomov Mon 01-Sep-08 11:52:33

My nursery writes to tell me how much the funding chq is. Can't remmeber of the top of my head, but it does change per term. I think it was about £300 odd pounds last term.
You need to be firm and ask nursery for detials of your 'account'.
Ask them to show you the ..... cost of ds's childcare for june, july, aug.... your Direct Debits. The funding chq. Ask to see it in balck and white.

And the money that ds receives is the same irrespective of.... he receives funding for so many hours. Irrespective of whether he uses up those hours in one day or 5 days. You should just be paying the difference.

Ie his fees are 416 say x 3 months = 1248
Less the say 300 chq = 948
divide by 3 months... you should be paying a monthly DD of 316.
it is that simple. Or should be wink

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 01-Sep-08 12:05:42

If you were at my nursery you would get 4 sessions for going 2 days.
I dont know why the nursery wont give you a straight answer - there should be no reason for them not to be transparent.

If they wont let you see the details then your local council might be able to help, aqs they are the ones paying the funding.

n5rje Mon 01-Sep-08 12:10:11

Three year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare per week which (in my area is paid at £3.47 per hour, I think this will be a national rate). The nursery will apply for this based on information you provide as you can choose to split the hours across different settings. They will then apply for it in line with school terms i.e three times per year. How they then pass this on to you will be up to them, I know some do an annual amount divided by 12 so its the same each month some may take it off when its paid to them (its paid twice per term). The current annual maximum is £1,977.90 so if they take that off monthly it will be approx £165. I have come across nurseries who are less than frank when telling parents how much they get so I'd ask them to confirm it in writing then if you are happy ring the childcare department at your local council and they will be able to tell you how much they've paid for your child. The nursery must also give you a termly statement confirming how much they have received. HTH.

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 12:27:00

well ive spoken to head office and I think it is ok - they were upfront. Apparently our LEA (Surrey) splits the year into 3 terms of unequal length (Spring 11wk, Summer 12wk, Autumn 14 weeks) and there was an increase in the rate for the Autumn term from £8.90 per session to £9.20 per session so that is why, I think, September is so much more off. They have confirmed that he is currently getting 4 sessions a week i.e 4 x £9.20 off for the 2 days. If I put him in another morning, which I think I will, he would get the 5th as well. So it seems I cant shave anymore off the bill, damn!

Thanks everyone.

islandofsodor Mon 01-Sep-08 12:27:39

One thing to take note of is that the free sessions are for term time only (38 weeks per year)so if your dc goes to a day nursery that runs all through the year like mine does then you will pay full charges for the extra weeks.

Some nurseries deduct the full value off the bills for term time so that the August, April and December bills to you are more. Some (like mine) divide the yearly amount by 12 so your bills stay the same.

The very short Spring Term (as Easter was so early this year) will account for the discrepancy in the amount deducted.

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 12:35:24

yes that is what she said, only 38 weeks, but they spread it over a 52 week year or whatever as is a day nursery.

But they spread it out per month so every month within the term I get the same amount taken off i.e:

Jan-April = 11 weeks funded
£8.90 per session x 4 sessions x 11 weeks = £341.60 / 4 (to make it per month?) = £97.90
so all my bills were £416.50 -£97.90 per month

May-Aug = 12 weeks funded
£8.90 per session x 4 sessions x 12 weeks = £427.20 / 4 (to make it per month?) = £106.80
so all my bills were £416.50 -£106.80 per month

Sept-Dec = 14 weeks funded
£9.20 per session x 4 sessions x 14 weeks = £515.20 / 4 (to make it per month?) = £128.80
so all my bills will be £416.50 -£128.80 per month

Useful to know how it is worked out.

Cosette Mon 01-Sep-08 12:41:06

Is it only £9.20 per session? My childminder is £6ph (also Surrey), so a 3 hour session is £18. Now whilst it might be possible to find a cheaper childminder (this one is my nearest at 10 mins drive away), or nursery (nearest one is 15 mins drive away and charges £4.50 ph, I don't think there is any childcare at only £3 per hour. Do they not look at local rates before setting what they'll pay back?

Oblomov Mon 01-Sep-08 12:42:58

Good. Glad all sorted. I am in Surrey aswell.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 01-Sep-08 12:48:22

Cosette - it isn't really to do with childcare per se, but nursery education. You should check whether your childminder is accredited for the funding. Many aren't. Our community preschool doesn't charge top ups for sessions, and neither do the other local preschools, as opposed to day nurseries, around here.

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 12:58:23

yes many people I know who got their children into actual pre-schools (i'e term time only,, attached to schools etc), their children are going either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons a week and they are paying absolutely zilch. It pisses me off tbh that some people get free education for their 3 year olds and others don't. Obviously if you wish to work, even part time (I am 4 days a week) you then have to pay through the nose. To be fair, some pay a small amount of top up for lunch clubs etc but it is still nowhere near the cost of private day nurseries (and childminders seemingly?). I did apply for pre-school for my child but he did not get a place at either of the 2 massively over-subscibed places in our town.

Yet another example of how working parents are penalised grrrrrrrrr!

Cosette Mon 01-Sep-08 13:01:06

yes my childminder is accredited - guess it all helps, but I had my expectations set by the "free number of hours" - whereas the reality will be half that.

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 13:01:44

I know, not my definition of free either! wink

Takver Mon 01-Sep-08 14:10:42

Have you tried seeing if you are eligible for any tax credits payments - they pay a contribution towards childcare, and it goes up to a surprisingly high income level (not sure exactly what as we are self employed, and it all got very confusing with them paying us and us paying them back when they overpaid).
Even when we weren't getting any cash help (no complaints, it was fantastic and kept us going when we were starting up!) we still got some help towards childminder costs.

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 19:31:00

Sadly, we were not eligible last time I put my details on the child tax credit website checker - when somebody then stole mine and ds1's identity and used it to fraudulently claim £1000's, yes I kid you not, so that even if I ever was eligible I could not claim as my NI number is still frozen with them while they investigate the fraud - ds1 is nearly 4 ....

thanks though - back to the 9-5 for me!

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 19:33:37

Sorry, I'll stop whinging now, could be worse etc etc

MatBackFack Mon 01-Sep-08 19:37:41

and I have a worse story about that lot too. My friend has 3 children and was receiving payments for the eldest two. When she put the claim in for the third after she was born, they paid for that child but the suddennly, for some explicable reason, refused to believe in the existance of the middle child and keep chasing her for money back. they will not believe she has 3 children no matter how often she sends in his birth cert etc.

I am too scared to tangle with them anyway - she has been driven almost insane by them.

lucy2009 Thu 05-Mar-09 18:53:19

just wondering if anyone has the answer o my problem. i have a pre school within walking distance from my home which is telling me that because my sons 3rd birthday is on the 7th of april he will not qualify for funding until the autumn term, which means he will be 3 but miss out on summer term. they say this is because of a cut off point of the 31st of march.
BUT another pre school which i would have to drive to is telling me they would get funding for him to start on the summer term as they re apply for funding on april 1st for their term.
it really is annoying me that the closest most convienient school is saying i have to pay. why is this, can anyone help?
both schools are saying the other is wrong i'm just really confused :-(

CarGirl Thu 05-Mar-09 18:57:45

The nearer one is correct the one that is saying he will get funding in the summer is wrong. They have their information incorrect and I would be concerned that if you used it that you may end up having to fund the sessions yourself, so check any contract you sign carefully.

You apply for the funding ever term but a child is on entitled to receive funding the term after their 3rd birthday so it will be September.

tiggerlovestobounce Thu 05-Mar-09 19:05:02

Is it the same local authority?
Where I am the dates is fixed by the council. If the schools are both in the same council area you could check with the council, and then ask the council to write to the school that has it wrong, to let them have the correct dates.

Clayhead Thu 05-Mar-09 19:07:07

All I know is that it's a 31st March cut off date in our county. If you google the name of your county/authority and 'Nursery Education Grant' it might give you some information or a number you could call yourself. HTH.

littlerach Thu 05-Mar-09 19:26:09

It is 31st March here too.

It is generally the term after their 3rd birthday.

CarGirl Thu 05-Mar-09 19:29:21

Surrey is 31st March

madwomanintheattic Thu 05-Mar-09 19:40:19

term after third birthday. ds1's bday is in the christmas holidays. i had to wait until after easter too. ho hum.

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