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forecasting places for 2017 with 30 hours


laura
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I'm really starting to panic about the 30 hours funding in 2017... how am I going to forecast places!? We are a very popular nursery. Our current group that will be eligible in 2017 are limited to 32 places a day, the mornings are now full and afternoons will be taken up as they take their 15 hours over the year. My preschool room can take 40 a session... so that gives me 8 places a day.

I'm getting enquiries for new children to start in 2017 and they are talking about getting the 30 hours...

Do I get my existing children that might be eligible to start booking in now?? But what happens if the criteria changes? Do you think it will??? Then what happens if some children go to the school nursery and then i'm left with spaces and I've turned children away!! Do I charge a refundable fee to guarantee their place.. but on a first come first served basis, they have to let me know by a certain date or I can't guarantee it? they are rubbish at reading paperwork at the best of times!

Aghhh my mind is too full of everything else to totally get a grip on this!

 

PS any other mangers feeling overwhelmed with the amount to do... my mountain keeps getting bigger

:(

 

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I'm not sure how the refundable fee to guarantee the children's places would help you. The parents could then still take their children to school nursery and you would have to return the refundable fee, leaving you in the same position as you are currently in.

 

Consider which of your current families/children are likely to be eligible and factor those in to your numbers for starters, then you will have some idea. It might be worth using a newsletter or some other form of communication to gauge which parents/carers would be eligible and interested and getting them to approach you, just so you have a starting point and bear in mind that some will still say they they want the 30 hours funding and will at a days notice go elsewhere...

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Laura I feel you pain - I haven't even dared think about next year yet - still struggling with this term. I assume you mean by your refundable deposit you will refund when they have started - that is what I do and it works well for new starters - not sure how you can use it with people continuing their time with you - this is where I have fallen foul this term with parents just not returning at the start of the new term.

I will be watching this thread with interest to see how people are planning to manage it.

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Are you allowed to charge a deposit for funded children? Even if it is refundable, I thought a funded place had to be completely free?

 

Is the upper earning limit for 30 hours funding £100,000? In my setting that would include everyone I'm sure!

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Well, i'm sending out a letter next week to find out who is eligible, who will take up the offer, stretched or term time and an idea what sessions they want (but it wasn't a guarantee they would get them).

I've had one parent say they are eligible but wouldn't be taking it up due to the shortfall in funding as it wasn't fair on us.. if only they all thought that!

I was reading in Nursery World that a setting who was trialling it this year was charging some sort of fee to guarantee spaces, but you are right that at the moment it is a condition of funding that it is free.. not that some settings near me abide by this...

I think the majority of our parents would be eligible :(

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Well, i'm sending out a letter next week to find out who is eligible, who will take up the offer, stretched or term time and an idea what sessions they want (but it wasn't a guarantee they would get them).

I've had one parent say they are eligible but wouldn't be taking it up due to the shortfall in funding as it wasn't fair on us.. if only they all thought that!

I was reading in Nursery World that a setting who was trialling it this year was charging some sort of fee to guarantee spaces, but you are right that at the moment it is a condition of funding that it is free.. not that some settings near me abide by this...

I think the majority of our parents would be eligible :(

can I ask what hours you offer at the moment ..do you have to offer flexible hours from your lea?

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Laura I read that as well. It was quite interesting, they got round the charging bit by having a two group package.

package one you got free meals and 30 hours for £16 (I think) per week with a guarantee that the place was yours

until your child started school

package two was 30 hours, no meals and no payment. However you had to book your child in from term to term and places could not be guaranteed.

Surprise, surprise all had taken the first option- as a working parent you obviously cant afford to not have a place available next week!

I think that was right, it was along those lines but do please forgive me if you are the nursery in question and I have it wrong!

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can I ask what hours you offer at the moment ..do you have to offer flexible hours from your lea?

We are open 7.15 to 6.30 but funded hours can be taken from 8am to 6.30 at the moment, we charge a bit more for the 7.15 to 8 bit!

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I think it is going to be a nightmare - remember that any parents claiming the 30 hours will have their eligibility checked (I think termly) and if not eligible (eg made redundant) get given a period of grace before they will revert to 15 hours. So they could drop to 15 hours and then suddenly be eligible again the following term as the parent is back in employment!! And the place might not be there as someone else has filled it........... so do you then lose the 15 hours as well or do you share the hours with another provider? And if the base 15 hours and the "plus 15" hours are paid at different rates, which provider gets which rate?

Arrrrgh!

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Thank goodness for this site and your help. I have been told that parents have to work 30 hours to get the 30 hours funding????

 

 

This is what I've sent to parents:

From September 2017 the Government will be funding 30 hours a week free childcare to children aged three and four years old during school term time.

To be eligible for the 30 hours all parents in the household must be working the equivalent of 16 hours a week either at or above the national living wage or the national minimum wage up to a maximum of £100k a year per parent. For lone parents if that one parent works more than 16 hours and earns less than £100,000 per year they will be eligible.

At XXX we will be offering the free 30 hours from September 2017 but we are forward planning to gauge how many children would be eligible and what the uptake might be.

As yet we are unsure if the funding will be able to be stretched as the 15 hours is now, but we assume it will be.

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they;ve scrapped the two different rates fortunately!

 

Oh yes, forgot about that - so much paper work and stuff flying around on social media that I'm having trouble keeping up with it all. I have to say I am not looking forward to 30 hours and really don't want to get involved. The NDNA are holding member sessions about how to "thrive" on 30 hours funding - which I guess implies they know it will cause a lot of problems for providers, but as they are government funded they can't not promote it. LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...

Question about the 30 hours - how many settings don't & can't offer anywhere near 30 hours? and could this be a real problem for them? my old pre-school can't offer it and this year numbers are low and I'm wondering if it's this that could be affecting them.

I'm just thinking that as a parent if I were entitled to 30 hours then I wouldn't chose a setting that didn't offer it? Unless of course I didn't want/need it

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I think this is one of the supplementary payments that LAs can opt for - flexibility. We are sessional and open for 27 hours term time only. We do own our building so would, in theory, be able to open more - if the need is there. The thing I still can't understand is what are parents supposed to do with younger children and older children during holidays. It just seems such a strange idea to fund only 3 and 4 year olds for up to 30 hours a week for 38 weeks a year (or equivalent ).

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We open for 26.5 hours per week. We could just about manage 30 hours if we open and close 15 minutes later each day. However that would mean staff working an extra 15 or 30 minutes per day and as the funding is so much lower then our fees and therefore what is currently paid for these additional hours I cant see we will be able to afford to.

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I think this is one of the supplementary payments that LAs can opt for - flexibility. We are sessional and open for 27 hours term time only. We do own our building so would, in theory, be able to open more - if the need is there. The thing I still can't understand is what are parents supposed to do with younger children and older children during holidays. It just seems such a strange idea to fund only 3 and 4 year olds for up to 30 hours a week for 38 weeks a year (or equivalent ).

it appears from the press(trustworthy???) that the idea might be that hours at school change in order to negate that effect....I suspect the education unions might make more of a fuss than early years about this!!!!!

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From the BBC news last week it was saying that schools won't/can't run on the funding & that lots of maintained nurseries would close because of the QTS rates of pay (think it was in Birmingham) if this is true & school nurseries start to close then that will be a good thing for settings in the community - won't it?

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Hi everyone.

Reading all your thoughts on the 30 hours free funding, can someone tell me please, how do we prove parents are working to the matching criteria? Or can't we?

If we are forced to implement the 30 hours can we charge extra per day towards snack/food etc?

 

Many thanks

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Yes you can charge "optional" extras of course but it can't be a requirement.

 

The criteria will be very much like the 2 year old funding.. they visit children's centre who then check the family info and give each child a Unique number that we will have to input when sending off our funding forms.

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From the BBC news last week it was saying that schools won't/can't run on the funding & that lots of maintained nurseries would close because of the QTS rates of pay (think it was in Birmingham) if this is true & school nurseries start to close then that will be a good thing for settings in the community - won't it?

 

Yes I think if schools lose their funding amounts they will struggle to pay the high wages.. such a shame :unsure:

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I attended a 30 hours road show in our LA last week and they told us that the parents would have to apply via HMRC and if they are eligible they will be given a reference number, we then enter this number into an online system which will confirm eligibility.

 

As for the logistics of it all and the money being paid.....I'm still burying my head in the sand!! (Only for another week or two ;-))

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The criteria will be very much like the 2 year old funding.. they visit children's centre who then check the family info and give each child a Unique number that we will have to input when sending off our funding forms.

can I just say that this is not always the way it is done in other counties! Our childrens centres do nothing like this!!!!!!

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