Please keep visiting this section, we will keep adding to the FAQ's
Sometimes settings can talk about things that you may not be sure of.
Below is an explanation of some of the terms or words that you may hear.
What is Ofsted?
Ofsted register and regulate childcare.
Click here to find out more information.
What are ratios?
All settings must work to staff ratios. This is the minimum number of adults needed when caring for children. The younger children are, the more adults are needed.
- 1 adult to 3 children under the age of 2
- 1 adult to 4 children aged 2
- 1 adult to 8 children aged 8 and above
What hours can my child attend?
Depending on the type of childcare you choose, they will offer you times to suit you and your child's needs.
For example, some settings open early for breakfast club and stay open until late in the evening where as others will offer typical 9 - 5pm sessions.
Read more about the different types of childcare and what they typically offer here.
What is a stretched offer?
Instead of taking your funded hours at 15 hours each week for 38 weeks, your child could, as an example, have 11 hours each week for 51 weeks of the year. This will all depend on the settings flexibility of delivering the funded education, not every setting is able to provide this.
What is a deposit?
A deposit is normally refunded when the parent decides their child will leave the nursery, or it can be used to pay the last months fees instead. In some cases the childcare setting use the deposit as part payment for the first instalment due when the child starts. (please discuss these fees direct with your setting to establish what the fee covers)
What is a retainer fee?
A retainer fee differs from a deposit as it allows a parent to reserve a place at a childcare setting for their child that could be offered to someone else. The retainer fee can be charged by the setting for the weeks that they are waiting for your child to start. (please discuss these fees direct with your setting to establish what the fee covers)
My child is accessing a funded place, but I've received a bill for food, nappies and snacks what do I do?
Talk to your setting. The funding covers the cost of early education. Some settings do charge extra for things like food, snacks, nappies and sun-cream so you should always check your contract before taking up your place; However, your childcare setting should let you bring a packed lunch, or your own snacks, nappies etc as an alternative. Paying the extra costs cannot be a condition of your funded place.
What is a notice period?
When your child starts a childcare setting you will sign a contract. In the contract there should be section about notice periods. This is usually the amount of notice you need to give if you want to change settings. You should not start a new setting before the end of your notice period because you may have to pay for both settings.