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advice on 15 hours free childcare please

Hello,I wonder if anyone has any opinions on this.Pepi will be 3 next January and I registered her with 2 Sure Start Centre Nurseries that are in our area,1 closer,1 little bit further away.BUT they both tell me that since she was born in January she will not be taken to nursery until the September when she will be 3 and half??? Why? The funding is from 3 years,so why this delay? And on top of that they both said that they are so full that there will be unlikely any free place till following September,when she will be 4 and half????? This actually works like that,my neighbour little girl was 3 in O ctober and was told to wait fof January place and then told there is no place till next yaer??? I dont like this one bit.Have u got any sugestions,opinions on that?We are originally not from here so I have not got any experience with British school system,but it just seems so unfair.I think from 3 child definitely benefits from a nursery and I really want Pepi to attend.Thank u.


  • The funding kicks in the term after they were 3 so if she is January born she will be entitled to the 15hrs from after the Easter holidays. BUT if a nursery is oversubscribed there is nothing they can do other than offer a place when they have it.

    Are there no other playgroups/nurseries/childminders near you that could provide her free sessions?
  • Hi thanks for the reply.You are Crafty Charlie arent u lol so hard to keep up with who is who.No other nurseries I know of,but could I actually take her to a different area or even a private nursery if I found one?It just occured to me.I personally would never use a childminder,Im sure there are hundreeds of fantastic ones out there,but what I have seen of them in toddler groups(and we go to 3 different ones) put me off them for life.Good luck with the rest of pregnancy hun.
  • Sorry to crash, but I find it really hard to get my head round the whole nursery/school starting age, please can someone help?

    Harry was born 9th September 2008, making him 1 1/2 now (I know Im a bit ahead of myself :lol: ) so he will be 3 in September 2011. If he goes to nursery from the term after that (January 2012) does that mean he has to start school in September 2012 age nearly 4 or will he have almost 2 years in nursery and start school when nearly 5?

    Sorry to sound so stupid about it all!

    Clare & Harry
  • hi there, Shea is 3 on September 28th so will get his free hours from Jan 2011, then he will start in the school the September just before his 5 th birthday in 2012.

    I did put his name down for the nursery before he was one as I'd been warned about limited places at the good nurseries.

    I called them other day and they told me i'll hear just after easter if he defo has a place or not. If he doesn't then he will just stay at the nursery he's been at since 6 months and get the free hours there.
  • Ok - the 15 free hours do NOT HAVE to be at a nursery they are for childcare - it could be private nursery/playgroup/childminder etc etc if you search on here: with your postcode you will find all registered providers near you! If one nursery is full and you want to make use of the free hours try somewhere else! It does NOT have to be a nursery attatched to a school or anything else!

    As for when they start school - the legal requirment is that a child attends school full time from the term AFTER they are 5 some schools admit 4 yr olds for the school year they will turn 5 this varies but there is no legal requirement for them to attend ANY form of nursery/school etc until the term after they turn 5!

    Hope that helps clear things up! image
  • dd will be 3 a year october but i have spoken to the school she will go to and they have said they will take her from the january after.

    she was really nice and said that although she wont start with them officially until the jan they are insured to take them from the time they are 3 so they have 'toddler mornings' where thye go in for an hour to start with a carer who will stay then the teacher will tell us to go for a cuppa and leave them. so really it is a staggered intergration until they start properly on their own

  • I've been wondering about this recently, as my DS is September born and while he's only 18mths wondered whether to put his name down on waiting list for nursery and from when.

    Didn't realise he'd have to wait til he's nearly 5 to go to school proper, so even longer in nursery!
  • thanks for clearing that up for me x
  • Really I didn't know that I could use the 15 free hours towards the childminder I already use.

    I do know that 2 of the local nurseries told me to come along and put his name down now, at 17 months, to have a chance of getting a place when he turns 3. ( note to self - must do that soon !)

    For me I'm struggling to co ordinate nursery, childminder, granny nanny (mum helps share childcare while I work) too complicated - my brain hurts.
    Does anyone know what the ?? amount you get reimbursed actually is. (I know it's not as much as the hourly rate my childminder charges !)

    S x
  • Hi Suz, I don't know how much it actually equates to but I can relate to your headaches!!

    She currently goes to a nursery all day on Mondays and Thursdays, then he goes to his nana's on a Tuesday and my friends mum's on a wednesday and I or hubby are off on Fridays.

    From September shea will change from private nursery to pre school nursery where I have asked for free 5 mornings but on top of that i've asked to pay for 2 additional afternoons, so he will be there all day on Mondays and Thursdays, then on the Tuesday and Wednesdays I will arrange for his nana and other carer to collect him and have him in the afternoons. You're right, it is quite hard to get your head around!!! it just means that I have to get permission from his nursery for 4 different people to be able to collect him (me, dad, nan and auntie Linda!!!)
  • The 15 free hours is for the term after they turn 3. Jack was 3 in the jan (hes 4 now) and got free hours after easter. BUT i was told that the ursery dont have to give you a place just cos your child qualifies. If there are no spaces then thats that.

    Jack then started ursery (pre school at a proper school) in the september but could have continured with the free hours if i thought he wasnt ready
    Sorry if im repeating. Just flying by. Oh and soz for G/C. Although i do need to come on more often as i have a 20 month old boy too and boy am i struggling (bn 24 wks pg) with his paddies!
  • Hi Sooky, hunt around your area for private preschools. My lo's didn't attend nursery at all, they went to a preschool. They started at around 2.5/3yrs, and I got the free 15hrs a week at the start of term after their 3rd birthday. Before that I paid about ??8 per 3hr session.

    Preschools are different from nurseries/childminders as they are purely preparation & socialisation for school, not 'childcare'. (obviously I know nurseries do the socialisation etc as well).

    After settling in, my boys loved their preschool, and my dd is due to start in September this year, or January next yr (haven't decided yet!). Shw will be 3 in December.

    Hope this helps.


  • sorry g/cing, my lo is already 3 and qualified for his free hours the term after he turned 3, luckily he is a december baby, so qualified from the January after. However, his playgroup leader did mention something in the week that the rules for claiming the 15 free hours are changing and I think she mentioned parents having to wait longer to get them, it may be worth ringing your chosen nurseries and asking to speak to the manager/leader, just to check.
  • Suz why don't you check with your childminder - she will know! Our nursery accepts the 15hrs from the gov as 5 half sessions or 2.5 full days so no idea what it is in ??'s
  • Whenever you choose to care for your child, you must feel comfortable with your decision. Planning is the solution to a successful placement and you should start this planning well in advance . Many childcare centres and Family Day Care schemes have long waiting lists, and other options such as selecting a nanny can be very time consuming.

    nannies surrey 


  • I agreed that Family Day Care schemes have long waiting lists, and batter is other options such as selecting a nanny can be very time consuming.

  • Each couple of parents which are usually expecting a little one or already have a baby is worried about the question around the choice of baby carriage/ best strollers.

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