Offering Funded Places
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  1. #1
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    Hi, does anyone know what offering funded places involves and how we go about applying for it? I have a parent asking if it's possible if I can offer it when LO is old enough. I just wondered how much extra work is involved and how many hours can be offered each day.
    TIA

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    Following as I'm trying to register for the 3 year old funding. I've phoned the FIS two weeks ago, they've promised someone will phone me as I'm eligible to provide the 3yo funding but my county council have just been through a restructuring and no one seems to know who's responsible. Good luck!

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    Manjay provides them but childminders in my area are not able too

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    I applied to LEA, they visited, all ok.

    BUT ... 3 yr funding is a lot less than my normal hourly rate so I can offer it to my parents if they work longer hours and I can make up my hours before and after the funded hours - enabling me to earn my daily rate.

    I currently have a 2 year funded child who I have advised to look for a nursery place as I know she won't be able to make up the extra hours her child will be with me - currently her 2 yr funding is more than my daily rate so I have her for as long as mum needs me until she gets home from work ( she is a young person I know well) .

    Also my LEA pays 2/3rds up front at the beginning of term and the last 1/3 at the end of term - so not always regular - it doesn't bother me but it may if your income is paying bills.

    Each LEA works differently though.

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    Hi FloraDora.

    My LA also pays below my usual rate. It seems a common practice based on some outdated and dodgy data collection on their part when setting funding levels (in fact, the data is so old, I'm surprised we don't get paid in pre-decimal currency.)

    Your LA must be one of the more relaxed ones. We're not allowed to receive funding if there's the slightest hint that we expect parents to take up additional hours, or charge those hours at a higher than usual rate, or suggest parents go elsewhere if they can't make up the extra hours.

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    It has been said ( by Bunyip I think) in the past, that the rates we get paid are based upon what we charge!!! When childminders charge a lower hourly fee, but then charge extras for food, outings, admins action fees, 'additional services', etc, these figures are not taken into account.
    I did ask this question to my DO, she confirmed that its not based upon extra fees.

    For our funding, we have to give them proof of our advertised rates. I use screen prints from childcare.co.uk, our family information service and my website. We are allowed to offer additional hours, that must be at our advertised rates, and not at an artificially high rate to claw back the funding loss.

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    In North Yorkshire the funding bears no relation to our usual fees. It doesn't matter what we charge, we all get the same funding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Hi FloraDora.

    My LA also pays below my usual rate. It seems a common practice based on some outdated and dodgy data collection on their part when setting funding levels (in fact, the data is so old, I'm surprised we don't get paid in pre-decimal currency.)

    Your LA must be one of the more relaxed ones. We're not allowed to receive funding if there's the slightest hint that we expect parents to take up additional hours, or charge those hours at a higher than usual rate, or suggest parents go elsewhere if they can't make up the extra hours.
    In answer to your statement: I didn't take a new child on and expect them to take up additional hours- it was an existing child who wanted their child to remain with me for nursery placement - already did more than 15 hours - but on a set day rate.
    I don't charge higher than usual rate for additional hours, they do however come off set day rate onto hourly rate - as stipulated by County.

    My contract for 2 year old is only until July. There is no expectation that they continue after this. I have her for 22 hours a week, am funded for 15 and do not charge her extra as she is a friend's grandchild. It does not make business sense to take her on for a further years contract given that the 3 year funding is £1.30 an hour less than 2 year funding. She lives a distance and mum will be on maternity leave so makes sense to look for a nursery placement closer to home.

    I understand what you are saying and I would not ask new start parents for additional hours. But my current parents do not want their child to attend a large setting so it made sense for them to continue with me given my background but 15 hours a week is funded for them.
    What I was trying to point out is that unless you have 3/4 year olds for additional hours above the 15 it is not lucrative for a childminder to take them on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    In North Yorkshire the funding bears no relation to our usual fees. It doesn't matter what we charge, we all get the same funding.
    But at some point, the average local rate was looked at, and that was the figure they use to stitch us up!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by k1rstie View Post

    But at some point, the average local rate was looked at, and that was the figure they use to stitch us up!!!
    Not as far as I know in North Yorkshire! As far as I know, the funding here is more than any childminder charges and has been so. We are a mainly rural county with comparatively few childminders.
    Childminders get a different (higher) rate to schools and nurseries here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    In answer to your statement: I didn't take a new child on and expect them to take up additional hours- it was an existing child who wanted their child to remain with me for nursery placement - already did more than 15 hours - but on a set day rate.
    I don't charge higher than usual rate for additional hours, they do however come off set day rate onto hourly rate - as stipulated by County.

    My contract for 2 year old is only until July. There is no expectation that they continue after this. I have her for 22 hours a week, am funded for 15 and do not charge her extra as she is a friend's grandchild. It does not make business sense to take her on for a further years contract given that the 3 year funding is £1.30 an hour less than 2 year funding. She lives a distance and mum will be on maternity leave so makes sense to look for a nursery placement closer to home.

    I understand what you are saying and I would not ask new start parents for additional hours. But my current parents do not want their child to attend a large setting so it made sense for them to continue with me given my background but 15 hours a week is funded for them.
    What I was trying to point out is that unless you have 3/4 year olds for additional hours above the 15 it is not lucrative for a childminder to take them on.
    Apologies. I think I misread your post.

    My point is that my LA would start asking questions based on the merest hint of this sort of thing, then worry about the facts later.

    I absolutely agree that clients using only the funded hours can undermine the sustainability of the service. Or, more precisely, they will unless/until the LAs start to pay a realistic 'going rate'. It's scandalous they can tell us what they're going to pay. If they wanted any other sort of work done for them, LAs would be obliged to tender for the service they require.

    I also think there's another problem with people using only the funded hours. It comes down to the fact that people frequently do not value anything they're getting for nothing. I know of several cases where parents have, essentially, flitted from one free provider to another, changing their minds over trivial matters. There is little reason for them to do otherwise, as they are not at all tied down by any sort of commitment, advance fees, deposits, and so on. All of which can be doing the child no good whatsoever.

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    My LA was questioning why no one wanted to keep 3/4 years old after they finished the 2 year old funding. From April they are ncreasing our payment by .10p which will make their rate .01p more than my normal rate.
    Debbie

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    The different rates for different age groups only proves the point that the whole scheme is designed to cater for nurseries (whose ratios use 2yo as a threshold).

    It has also had some unfortunate unintended consequences. Local CMs here were bombarded with enquiries from desperate parents in the next county, where the LA had revised their rates very heavily in favour of 2yo's. Several nurseries were reorganising their premises to make room for greater numbers of the more profitable 2yo's, and giving notice to 3-4yo's due to the "lack of space". These nurseries were of course "working in partnership with parents" by very helpfully giving out the contact numbers of CMs who they hoped would serve as a dumping ground for the 3-4's.

 

 

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