I just got my nursery invoice for my DS. 3 years old and 30 hours funded. Normally the bill is quite small, just charged for meals as the funding covers all of his hours.
The bill is a lot more than usual and they have written a note to say that 'due to a shortfall in funding from the council this year, they have added an admin fee to bring the funding in line with their hourly rate'.
I totally see their point of view, nursery funding is crap and should be raised. However...
- This came out of the blue and is a lot of money that we haven't budgeted for... surely they should have given us notice that this was going to happen, especially as it sounds like this is going to be an ongoing thing.
- After some research I have seen that the guidance says that childcare providers are not allowed to charge top up fees to make up the difference between the funding and their hourly rate.
I'm not sure what to do, does anybody know anything about funding? Is there a loophole that allows them to do this? The wording definitely states that this is what the fee is for rather than 'extras' such as food or outings.
I just feel as though the 30 free hours are no longer free, I don't want to have to change nursery as I am happy with everything else they do.
So aibu to question this with the nursery?