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NEG fees.....anyone else not happy?

7 replies

siggy79 · 23/11/2004 10:50

I am really annoyed at how this nursery education grant is worked out. We were told our son gets 5 free sessions. Now they are telling us the grant has run out and we have to pay in full. We have signed a contract you can't just back out if you can't afford it. I am not working, my husband works. I thought I could work a couple of days a week by taking advantage of this NEG. Now we have to pay £549 a month!!! which we cannot afford. If we were on benefits and we wanted to give our kids a bit of free early years education, I dread to think what would happen.
We shouldn't have to work out how much to pay extra. They should tell us before we've signed the contract and make it simple. I've got enough to do looking after 2 kids (one of them is very ill) without working out blasted sums and worrying how much we will have to pay this month.
They made us think it was free and then we signed a contract and found out we'd have to pay the full amount. If they had told us how much we would have to pay from the start there wouldn't be a problem.

OP posts:
grumpyfrumpy · 23/11/2004 11:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gobbledigook · 23/11/2004 11:09

siggy79 - I find these grants really irritating too as I never really know what gets funded and so how much I'm paying. Not such an issue for me as I can pay the fees if I have to but I do find it very confusing - I can see how if you need to budget carefully it must be very frustrating. You really need to know how much it will cost you before you commit don't you?

How can the grant 'run out'???

meea · 23/11/2004 12:56

Is your child in a private nursery.
If so the grant runs out because the vouchers only cover 33 weeks out of 52. Which is the number of weeks your child would attend a state nursery.
My own childen attend a private nursery and they have just started averaging out the bills so that you pay the same amount every month for the term.
It is really complicated but you could prehaps cut your child to 4 session a week you can then claim for 14 weeks free out of every term which is usually 16 weeks.
The other thing to watch for is the length of the session as the grant only covers 2 1/2 sessions so if your nursery has a 3 hour session as ours do you are paying for the extra 1/2 an hour as well.
Hope this made sense and has been some use.

bonkerz · 23/11/2004 13:07

The nursery education grant runs for 33 weeks out of the 52 weeks a year. In total it entitles you to 5X 2 1/2 hr sessions which is about £41.10 per week.

The nursery i used to manage allowed parents to do 9-11.30 every morning for free during term time then the children didnt come during non term time in line with schools in the area and they were not charged! I would write a letter to the nursery stating that you signed your contract under the agreement that your child would attend for the free sessions only and you will withdraw your child untill the next lot of vouchers start after christmas. You should have 3 lots of 11 weeks slots! these start Jan, April and Sept. If your child does over the 2 and a half hours per day then you are eligable to pay the extra fee yourself.
The nursery should honour this verbal agreement, if they dont id look for a nursery that was not so underhand in its dealings!

alibubbles · 23/11/2004 13:18

In a private/voluntary nursery the free place consists of 5 sessions a week, for 11 weeks a term, 3 terms a year. Each session will normally last 2 1/2hours. The maximum number of sessions the nursery can claim for your child each week is 5 and the maximum each term 55. The nursery gets £7.75 a session.

If you don't want your child to take up 5 sessions per week, thats fine, you can opt for a lower number, but will only be funded for the number you take.. Also if your child's nursery operates for more than 11 weeks a term, you can ask the nursery to spread your child's 55 sessions over a longer term.

Although nurseries cannot charge for the free session, they may expect you to take up an additional service for which you have to pay.

For instance:

Day nurseries, which generally offer care from to 6,pm all year round, will expect you to use and pay for the additional care outside the free session.

Some term time only nurseries provide a longer education sess, if the session was say three hours, you would have to pay for the additional 30 mins. Some will charge more than the going rate for this care as it is 'wrap around care'.

The level of chaarge for these additional services is up to the nursery, so it is important to check how much it will cost.

You can split the grant between providers, ie a nursery and an accredited childminder. The children I look after attend pre school 2 mornings and are with me 3 mornings. I will just take the grant off their monthly fees. The pre school they attend charges £11.25 a morning so the parents will get a bill for about £5 a morning, after the grant has been deducted.

Points to remember, not all private or independent or vouluntary nurseries are part of the scheme or have to be, Soem are getting peed off with the system and aggro it causes so opt not to take it, and parents have to pay full fees or find a nursery who is part of the scheme. Nurseroies can also opt in and out at a terms notice.

You should find alla this information in the Early Years document sent to you the autumn term before your child is 3, it also includes a list of all the providers and how the funding is taken. Hope this makes it a bit clearer!

siggy79 · 23/11/2004 18:56

Just to clarify,
When I first took my son to the nursery I asked them if he could go for the free sessions and how many sessions this would be. They told me that 4 sessions were 2 school days. 5 Sessions were 2 full days. Since my husband was working 2 full days sounded better. So we signed the contract, thought we could afford to send our baby son for 2 days also (he is the one thats ill) and we explained our wishes to them. They were extremely amicable.
Every thing was going fine until we had to pay over £170 extra every month - They kept saying it was too complicated, they wouldn't tell us what the amount was going to be for the next month. My health visitor was really shocked and said it was pretty underhand. She explained that she had a few parents in the same boat.
Now obviously, we are paying the full amount.

Now I hear what your saying but the math is too complex. Do any of you actually have a break down of the costs etc (we did not even recieve a paper bill last month and I'm telling you this is a REALLL well-known nursery)
Would we be in our rights to ask for a break down of the hourly costs, rates extra charges, grants etc?

If this was a consumer issue it would be an outrage. Once your working you don't really have a choice not to send your child. I have made a complaint but how do you know the level of care will remain them same afterwards? I think we have to give a months notice before we take our son out.

If I ask for my son to go to the free sessions only, and they agree, why do I still have to pay?

Have I lost the plot or something??!!?

OP posts:
meea · 24/11/2004 07:08

Try looking at it in terms of hours your childs grant covers 12 1/2 hours a week.Did you say that your child is going 8-6pm if so 20 hours a week.So you will have to pay for the extra care.
You will also have to pay the full 20 hours after you have had your 11 weeks of each term.
I would get them to give you a breakdown of your bill.
If you want your child to get a free nursery place you need one where they go only during the school term .If they go to a private nursery that doesn't give you the option of a term time only contract you will never get a free place.
Even if they went 9-3 you would still have to pay for the dinner hour between sessions.

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