Fertility Friends Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could some one help with this please

My son will be 3 in april and due to start school nursery in september. Once he turns 3 some one has told me he will qualify for free 15 hours a week 4 weeks after his birthday. He is already at a sure start nursery 2 mornings a week any way
Do I have to apply? How dose the hours work? Like will it be 3 full mornings or 2 and a half hours every day?
I didn't think the free 15 hours started till the school term they turn 3 but the lady who was telling me about this said its changed to 4 weeks after there 3rd birthday?

Can any 1 help me with this please

Thanks in advance kelli
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
I've just had a look on the Directgov website and there's no mention of the 4 weeks after b'day thing.  According to that, if your son's birthday is in April the 15hrs will apply from 1 September.

It really is a confusing minefield and to be honest I've no idea how the 15hrs is applied (I think it also depends on how many days a week they go for aswell) - I'm sure others on here will be able to explain.  However you should be aware that the 15hrs is only awarded for 38 weeks of the year, so there will be some weeks where you won't receive the free care - this usually only applies though if your child attends somewhere all year round and not just term time only.

When DD1 got her free hours, we didn't need to do anything other than sign a form to say we wanted them, and to confirm the hours she currently attended nursery.  Nursery did everything else for us.

Cx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read that on diect.gov but aparently its changed?

Thanks for that x
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,991 Posts
We also dont have to apply for anything, the nursery takes car of it all and we just sign a form. At DD2's private nursery we get a fee reduction on her half day session, or she could just got for the 3 hour session & it would cost me nothing - however its too restricting for me so I just pay the extra.

As ClaireH said you only get the hours for term time so there will be a proportion of the year where you still have to pay (if at private nursery) or just not take them in (like school holidays).

Ive not heard of the 4 weeks either so I would query it with your local council, they should be able to help you - as far as im aware its still the term after they turn 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks stally. He is back at nursery on friday so ill think I will ask while I'm there

Thanks again x
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,868 Posts
As far as I'm aware (working in a nursery) it is still the term after they are 3. I've not heard about the bringing it earlier more that they may want to scrap it. 
I don't know all the details of how it can be used but here it has to be used over a min of 3 days, and can be used in more than 1 setting.  For example my DD1 goes to pre-school 4 half days (3 hr sessions) so they claim for 12hrs and she goes 1 full day to a private nursery so they claim the other 3 hrs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,899 Posts
Does anyone know how this works as we have twins?will they both get the 15hrs each?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
Yes, they both get 15 hours each.

I'm slightly perplexed & a tad annoyed if I'm honest.  It seems the grant can only be used as 3 hour sessions which is absolutely no use to me whatsover.  (Sorry to sound negative and it's good we are given this time free of charge, but it won't help me much to be honest).  The nearest (suitable nursery) is a 15 minute drive away - so 30 min's there and back.  I have twins and by the time I have fed them breakfast, washed them, got hats, shoes, coats on - humped them out of the house, got them in the car - do everything in reverse once I get to the nursery and come home, it will be almost time to pick them up again.  I asked the nursery if they would overlap the time, eg. on a Monday have 4 hours instead of 3.  They said they can't do that, it has to be 3 hours or nothing.  They told me I would have to drop them off at 9am and collect them at 12.  When I asked if they could come for an afternoon session instead they said, "No".  ^bigbad^  I am more fed up about them not letting me overlap the hours as I don't really see what difference it makes.

I don't want to sound like a grump but I'm 44 and I'm knackered.  I don't get any help from family - all live too far away. My DH works nights, and I visit my Mum every morning to make her meals etc.. shes' 78 and not in the best of health! 

When I rang my local Family Information Service, she painted a far very rosier picture.  She said the grant was there to give parents a much needed break - if that's what they wanted.  No such luck for me then.  ::)  I love my kids- as we all do - and I'm in no rush to palm them off as it were, but a few hours to myself each week would have been lovely. 

x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
Ps Ladies,

I have just spoken again with Family Information Services and they confirmed, as ♡ C ♡ has said, there are no plans to change things.  From this April it will still mean that your child is intitled to the grant - the term after their third birthday and they are not bringing this forward.

Hope this helps

xx
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,308 Posts
wishing4miracle said:
Does anyone know how this works as we have twins?will they both get the 15hrs each?
It's per child not per household so yes. Otherwise it's a bit mean for parents of singlies to get more education for their child than those of twins. ;)
Birchie said:
Yes, they both get 15 hours each.

I'm slightly perplexed & a tad annoyed if I'm honest. It seems the grant can only be used as 3 hour sessions which is absolutely no use to me whatsover. (Sorry to sound negative and it's good we are given this time free of charge, but it won't help me much to be honest). The nearest (suitable nursery) is a 15 minute drive away - so 30 min's there and back. I have twins and by the time I have fed them breakfast, washed them, got hats, shoes, coats on - humped them out of the house, got them in the car - do everything in reverse once I get to the nursery and come home, it will be almost time to pick them up again. I asked the nursery if they would overlap the time, eg. on a Monday have 4 hours instead of 3. They said they can't do that, it has to be 3 hours or nothing. They told me I would have to drop them off at 9am and collect them at 12. When I asked if they could come for an afternoon session instead they said, "No". ^bigbad^ I am more fed up about them not letting me overlap the hours as I don't really see what difference it makes.

I don't want to sound like a grump but I'm 44 and I'm knackered. I don't get any help from family - all live too far away. My DH works nights, and I visit my Mum every morning to make her meals etc.. shes' 78 and not in the best of health!

When I rang my local Family Information Service, she painted a far very rosier picture. She said the grant was there to give parents a much needed break - if that's what they wanted. No such luck for me then. ::) I love my kids- as we all do - and I'm in no rush to palm them off as it were, but a few hours to myself each week would have been lovely.

x
The routine you describe there sounds much like my own (except it's a walk not a drive ::) ). I then have to come home and work for the 3 hours in between and, literally, don't stop until I then have to go pick him up again. I actually power up my laptop and phone before I walk him to school so I can sling my coat off and get straight to it. ::) Free time? yeah, what's that then! ;D Still, it's all good practice for when he starts proper school.

It sounds very inflexible of the nursery. After all they're getting their money via the NEG regardless of whether your child is there am or pm and if they have afternoon sessions why the heck not? ??? Is it a private nursery? i.e. do they have morning and afternoon sessions and full paying customers, babies under 2 etc.?

From when I was enquiring there seemed to be two sorts of settings you could use the grant in; the first being a pre-school type set up specifically to cater to NEG children (as mine is) which only operates 3 hour sessions either am or pm. Some of the ones I enquired about did both but you could only use one or the other. My one does take children from 2years old so before NEG eligible, but it does only operate for 3.5 hours a day total so is definitely set up with NEG children in mind. These are often - but not always - LA run or authorised or run (often attached to actual schools) and your LA should be able to give you a list.
The other setting is to use it at a/your normal childcare provider (so long as it's a nursery not home childminding as I don't think that counts) where they can deduct the 15 hours per week from your standard fees. If you do it that way, you ought to be able to book your child/children in for any times you want as you will be paying the top up. The only thing you might find (and it varies from provider to provider) is that they may charge for a session from 9 -12, but if you drop yours off at 10am and pick up and 1pm say, you'll still have to pay an hour as the sesion time ends at 12 (if that makes sense). That said, you might findfor some they sort of fudge it to even out as you only get the NEG during term time and they deduct the full amount from your fees across the whole year. When I enquired in one, this was what I was told but there seems to be no set rules about how private nurseries can charge you for the sessions so some will probably find a way to do it to get the most out of you on top of the NEG. For instance the private one I enquired at charge "per session" with their sessions running 8-12 and 1-6. I could not elect to use only 3 hours of this... well I could but I'd still be charged the full session so would be paying the top up (in this case, there was a huge discrepancy between what the NEG grant was and what the sessional price was so it worked out that more would have been coming from my pocket than the NEG... and I could not even offset the fact I'd only use them term time as this wasn't permitted under their calculations!). that said, some private nurseries are very fair and flexible so it pays to look around a bit more.

In the end I elected for the standard pre-school nursery type because it was close to home, attached to the school he will go to (so will establish friendships that will no doubt last) and cheaper than any private ones where I'd have to pay sessions. The one I have does 3.5 hour sessions which does mean I pay a top up for half an hour a day (about £70 a term which also includes costs of food provided) but, because it lets me get my 3 full hours work in a day, I can live with that.

The other thing you could, perhaps think about if it's affordable, would be to have a childminder for an hour or so each day to take them or pick them up? It may work out that you can do this at not too much cost.

It might also be worth looking into whether you can get any financial help as your mum's carer? Not sure what the policies are of how much caring you do for her before you qualify but you might find you're entitled to something if the stuff you do is essential and you'd need a nurse or carer to come in if you were not around? ??? that might help out a bit with any childcare costs if you went down the route of having childminder take/pick them up? Worth looking in to.

C~x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep you were right. Its the term they turn 3. No good to me as he will be in school nursery that term anyway

Thanks for the advice. Some kids are ready for nursery I know my ds is. Its not fair that its not as flexible as I first thought.

Kelli
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,206 Posts
My son goes to preschool all day 2 days aweek (9-3.30) and i pay £2 pd for the lunch session and provide a packed lunch he also does a morning session. Its costing me £48 per term where as i was paying that week at nursery!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow mel that's a good price. I wonder I we have some thing like that
He is at a surestart nursery 2 mornings 8 till 1 and its costing me £34 its a lot when I pay them every month.
There is a few kids who go there and getting all day 5 days a week for nothing. Witch really bugs me and I don't think its very fair on others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
Hi again ladies,

Just want to say a big 'thank you' to Caz.  How lovely of you to go to the trouble of writing all that for me.  Mmmm, you have given me lots to think about.  I will reply properly when I get a bit more time  ::)

Can I also say how sorry I am for your loss.  I hope me saying that doesn't upset you, but I feel I needed to say it.  It really makes me think I have nothing to moan about in this world. 

You sound just as busy as me, which did make me giggle (it's alway nice to know you are not alone, isn't it)?  I'm sure keeping busy will help you get through, even if it only helps a little bit.  Big, big hugs to you chick and thanks again!  ^hugme^

Mel, can I come and live next door to you?  That sounds just what some of us ladies need.

Kelli, yes, it's infuriating and totally unfair.

xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
Birchie,
I feel a bit the same as you .... I have twin girls who are not 3 until this Sept and so can't get the free 15hrs until Jan 2012, my girls are so ready for preschool now and I am so ready for a break (I've not had more than a few hrs alone in the last 2yrs !!) I also had no idea how it sounds gr8 un til you find out that you can only have 3hrs spread over so many days a week (well what I've been told at the places near me anyway) and like you by the time I've got them ready and there and come home I'll be lucky to have an hr - to do what with ! LOL

I was made redundant when they were about 9 months old and the childcare fees I did pay were almost all my monthly salary then so no point in me working at all (though I'd love to for a rest LOL but I've no one to look after them for me and again I'd be working for nothing)


As I don't work and my DH is on a low wage (he works in care so a worthwhile vocation but so poorly paid :( ) I can't afford to send them now before the 'free' hrs as just one morning a week ( of 3hrs) for 2 of them would cost me £70 a month so one whole day to myself a week would cost me £140 a month, we just don't have any spare money we barely get by as it is with no other than necessary spending

I love my LO's to pieces but they are as ready for more stimualtion and being with other kids (even though we do loads and they get through about 10 acivities a day as bored after 10mins LOL, they also go to a playgroup one morning a week - with me with them of course and we go to a twins club too)  as I am for some me time..

An older friend of mine asked my why they can't go to a preschool now without having to pay ?I don't think this even exists does it free preschools ?

Anyway I totally get ya ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you go on drect.gov it will give numbers of advisers who might help you
X
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,177 Posts
Hi,

My boys do 4 mornings a week 9 - 11.30 and 1 full day 9 - 3 and it costs me £2.00 per child a week so they can stay for lunch although you have to provide a packed lunch.

Sharon x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Hi ladies, Just want to add a bit hope it helps.

My friend owns a private nursery, the free 15 hours are only term time, they have to be taken over a minimum of 3 days, otherwise you only get 12 hours. Regarding the 3 hour slots, this was abolished by the government (unless obviously a preschool which only does those hours). Her son is moving to a government run childcare operation which only allowed 3 hour sessions either morning or afternoon allocated by them you had no choice, with the new guidelines you pick the hours to suit you i beleive it has to be a minimum of 3 hours in one go, and the nursery has to accomodate you as long as you are within the guidelines. You do however have to pay extra for snacks and meals.She said for them its a nightmare for staff rota's but it has to be done.
eg: my boys go to nursery all day Monday and 2 afternoons a week, total 19 hours. Come September with their free child places i could stick to the same days annd for the 38 weeks i would only have to pay for 4 hours chilcare plus meals and snacks.
hope that helps
PS just remembered some childminders can apply for the free places also as they are ofsted registered may be worth ringing round locally.
Plus what is the date of cutoff for the summer term as Easter is very late this year and school won't be back till May?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
gosh it's a total nightmare, esp having to take the 15hrs over a min of 3 days !! bah worse all the pre-schools near me have very long and more than one waiting list !! I'll be lucky if I get them into one at all at this rate ...
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top