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Nursery funding won't be ready for September - what are my options?(36 Posts)
My son has just turned three and was diagnosed with ASD in early May. He and his twin brother are due to start nursery in September at a private nursery.
In May when we got his diagnosis, we told the nursery straight away and they started to put an application together for funding for a 1-1 for him. We signed the forms way back at the beginning of June and presumed it had all been taken care of as we haven't had any further communication from them to suggest otherwise.
Fast forward to today when the health visitor said she had been in touch with them in regards to providing support with PECs, etc, and they had told her that the funding application hadn't made it in on time and 1-1 support now won't be available until January.
I am so sad and upset for my son and his twin brother. We have had such a horrid time of it during the diagnosis process over the past 18 months and we were all happy and looking forward to them attending nursery together. I really can't bear to wait until January as he'll only have two terms of nursery before he goes to school. It just doesn't seem fair.
The HV said that we could go to the taster sessions and see if he would cope without a 1-1, but in a class of 31, even though he would cope with the other children and playing, he is non-verbal and very reliant on me to guide him in activities, etc.
I just don't know what to do....we have had zero contact from the nursery and I suspect if we decide he can't cope without a 1-1 in September, they will expect us to pay the fees regardless in order to hold his place until January.
Do I have any options? There is only 5 weeks until September and I don't know what to do. No where else will have spaces now....I just feel desperate.
He would love to be out of the house a bit more, he is starting to get terribly bored at home with me now. I am just heartbroken for him......
Sounds a bit suspect to me! What do they do for children new to the area! Surely nurseries dont have to wait a term before applying for funding then?
I think you should email the nursery and ask them if they are going to apply for the funding asap as they said they would or not!
Fwiw, there is no need for your son to be bored with you at home, there are lots of pre school groups going on all over the place or you could investigate your local home ed community and see what they are upto with little ones.
I would be very wary of putting a child who has been recommended for 1:1 into a setting with no support, it could be a horrible experience for your little one.
Good luck 💐
Thank you for your reply INMP.
As far as I'm aware, the application must have gone in in June, just after we signed it. When my husband spoke to them a few months ago they said that the funding process was usually quite quick but because of the holidays it might delay it. I'm very confused that they've not been in touch with us since then to tell us that it won't be in place.
In regards to waiting until January...i don't understand this either. I am very happy to wait until maybe October or even November but January means another five months of him not receiving the time in preschool that he deserves.
I'm totally at a loss of what to do. Not sure whether to contact the local authority myself? but then again if they don't work over the summer then that's not going to happen.
Any more advice from anyone who knows how (higher needs?) funding works would be HUGELY appreciated.
Sorry you're having a tough time. My son is three and his Ed Psych applied for him to be assessed for an ECHP four weeks ago. Unfortunately I have just heard that the Council have refused to assess for ECHP but have committed to 9 hours 1:1 a week in preschool starting in September so based on that I would say the timescales you mention seem wrong.
I would contact the Council and nursery and try push them for help. Might be worth contacting your local SENDIASS for further advice,
I also would wonder if this was the right place for him, as they should be trying to work with you to get him started in the best way (ie with a 1-1 in place)
As far as I am aware there is a cut off date for applying for 1-1 funding, but some preschools, will work out ways to fund for a short period of time until the application is sorted out.
If you think this is definitely the right place, and you really want him to start with his brother, then could you attend as his 1-1 until the funding is in place (kicking up a stink and trying to get it allocated earlier at the same time). I did this with ds even with a 1-1 (for other reasons) and it worked well for us, but realise it wouldn't be feasible for many.
I would also add, that if your ds is non verbal, make sure that the preschool has a communication strategy in place for him. What would he respond to - Makaton? Pecs? Does he need a communication book with him? These sorts of things I would want in place before starting.
Oh dear poor you! We've just spent the best part of last year funding our own 1:1 for our son in a private nursery school. Not ideal but where we are there is not much option in a private nursery but EHCP and we are still in that process.
(We think nursery could have got some other funding but they didn't know how so we didn't get).
I appreciate this isn't an easy option.
There may be plenty going on locally if you can't take him to nursery - our local centre does stay and play sessions etc all with some structure.
Good luck !
Thanks everyone again for your replies.
We are due to have some visits over the summer where we will be able to sit in another room and watch him on a camera to see how he copes with the environment. As I said before, he is happy to get on with his own thing and fine with other chidren buzzing round him, it is just really somebody to keep an eye on him and help and encourage him to join in with activities that he otherwise would ignore. As a (very) last resort I may ask that he be put in the 2-3 year old room so that he is on a 1-4 ratio (as oppose to 1-8 in the 3-4 year old room).
As a side note - apparently, in the preschool room, there is one other little boy with autism and two other children with other SEN, so he will not be the only one with funding needs.
I will contact the nursery tomorrow to discuss in detail what is going on, and then contact the council myself if they really need a push.
My main concern is this whole waiting til January business if i'm honest. I certainly do not mind him waiting until October or even November, but January is five months away and an absolutely ridiculous time to wait (since it will be seven months since the application was recieved!!).
Does anybody know whether funding is only allocated at the start of a term, or whether it can be at any time, in any month? If anybody could put my mind at rest over this issue, you would be an
Right, I contacted the nursery this morning and currently waiting for them to get back to me. I asked for an update on the funding so I can get the facts down in writing. If they give me a flowery answer and nothing definitive then I will next be on to the LA.
As a side note (may be silly question) - why do the LA dealing with applications have the summer off??
It's amazing how within 24 hours I went from to and now ready to take on anybody who stands in my son's way of getting what he deserves
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Ahhh...this just makes me worried. Why does everything have to be so difficult and seem like such a fight?
No, we haven't applied for an EHCP yet. I wanted to get started as soon as we got a diagnosis but we were told by the HV that he had to be in a nursery setting first.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
This is all very new to us and we just took the specialist HV's word for it as we presumed that she deals with SEN day in day out. Will look into EHCP straight away.
Right, I've heard back from the nursery and they said that the early years inclusion panel isn't until the middle of September and they will find out then whether or not he is eligible for funding.
However, something I didn't know was that the funding also only covers a percentage of the government funded 15 hours. This means that DS will not get 1-1 for the duration of this day at nursery and could be equivalent to an hour per day.
Does this sound right??
No, it should be for the full 15 hours ( I am a 1-1 in a preschool)
I know that my setting has struggled if the application misses the panel timing, however they have always managed to secure something, and I don't know that a child has ever started without a 1-1 if it was thought a child needed one.
Now I'm even more
I need to sort this mess out. Who should I be speaking to and what questions so I be asking/what should I be telling them?
Had an email reply from the LA. Been told that 1-1 is usually provided at 50-70% of the 15 hours, so could be as little as 7.5 hours per week
The email ended with a rather patronising 'It is unfortunate that you have been led to believe there was more funding available - it is quite a complicated system and perhaps some individuals don't fully understand it.'