FAQs about Fees

Discover answers to our most asked questions below.

Fees & holidays

What is the cost of childcare in the UK?

The cost of childcare in the UK is amongst the highest in the world. At Ark Start, we believe that everyone should have access to high quality, flexible and affordable childcare regardless of their background and for that reason:

  • Ensure that every family can access their government funded entitlements for free
  • Charge private hours out at cost meaning we do not cross subsidise or make money from our private fees
  • We make sure all additional charges are transparent (such as lunch) and that you can bring a packed lunch if you prefer.

You can find out more about our fees here

Can I pay for hourly childcare?

You must buy childcare by the session either term time only or all year round. Our sessions are:

  • 9am – midday
  • Midday – 3pm
  • 8am – 9am 
  • 3pm – 5pm

 

If you are entitled to 15 funded hours, this equates to:

  • 5 sessions per week, term time only
  • 4 sessions per week, all year round

 

If you’re entitled to 30 funded hours, this equates to:

  • 10 sessions per week, term time only
  • 8 sessions per week, all year round
What do my fees cover?

Fees cover everything with the exception of snacks and meals; nappies and wipes; and certain offsite visits – we publish these at the beginning of the year so families can plan.

Do I need to pay extra for meals and snacks while my child is at nursery?

Yes. We charge £2.50 for lunch and snacks (or just 40p for snacks if you bring a packed lunch) for each 9-3 day or £3.50 each 8- 5 day for Lunch tea and snacks Inc. breakfast (or just 60p for snacks if you bring a packed lunch). We do this to try and keep fees as low as possible. If you have any trouble paying these, please come and speak to the office staff. 

How will I be invoiced?

You will be invoiced monthly, in advance. When payments have not been made, the nursery reserves the right to remove any fee-incurring sessions or lunches from future bookings until the debt is cleared.

Is there a registration fee (or deposit)?

No, we don’t require a registration fee or deposit.

Will I still be charged while I’m on holiday?

Yes, if you take a holiday during your booked sessions, you will be charged. You will not be charged when the nursery is closed.

Funding

What funding support can I access?

The government offer support for childcare costs. You can check your entitlements here. Alternatively, you can speak to our nursery team who will help you understand your entitlements.

When can my child start claiming the 3 & 4 year funding?

3-year-olds will be able to start a funded nursery place in the September, January or April following their third birthday. Their birthday must be before 31st March for funding from Summer Term (April), 31st August for Autumn Term (September) & 31st December for Spring Term (January). 

I'm entitled to 15 funded hours - how can I access them?

Term Time Only – 5 sessions / week. 

In general, the following options are available:

School day

Morning and afternoon sessions Monday and Tuesday and morning session on Wednesday

Or afternoon session on Wednesday and morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday and Friday

Full days

Morning, afternoon and wrap around session one day a week with a morning and afternoon session on the other day.

All Year Round – 4 sessions / week

School day

9am – 3pm Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday 

I'm entitled to 30 funded hours - how can I access them?

Term Time Only – 10 sessions / week. 

In general, the following options are available:

School day

Morning and afternoon sessions Monday to Friday

Full days

Morning, afternoon and wrap around sessions two days a week

Morning and afternoon sessions two days a week

All Year Round – 8 sessions / week

Morning and afternoon sessions four days a week 

Morning, afternoon and wrap around sessions two days a week and one morning and afternoon session one day a week

Can I receive financial assistance for childcare/nursery?

There is some financial help available for families with children at nursery. You can find out more here.

Discounts

Do you accept tax-free childcare?

Yes. You first need to apply for tax-free childcare here. You can talk to the office staff for more information.

Leaving Ark Start

Is there a notice period for leaving the nursery?

Parents are required to give one month’s notice if their child is no longer going to attend an Ark Start Nursery. This notice needs to be done through Famly, our nursery booking system. Nursery staff cannot agree to booking changes directly.

Do you offer support for children transitioning between nursery and school?

We aim to make transitions as minimal as possible and work hard with children to ensure they are ready and excited to start school. When we can, we will accompany groups of children to visit their new primary school and share information between settings.

Opportunities at Ark Start

Join the Team

Our nurseries are about much more than childcare. Our team works together to ensure that every child has a joyful, engaging and secure nursery experience and leaves us ready to start school happily and confidently. We are driven by our values in everything we do: Aim High, Be Brave, Be Kind and Keep Learning.

Ark Start is at an exciting time in its evolution. We opened two nurseries in South London last year and aim to expand our reach over the coming years. As we expand, we are looking for Early Educators to join our founding team. We are looking for someone with a genuine passion for young children and with the skill, creativity, commitment and energy to deliver excellent provision at Ark Start John Archer.

nursery child and play worker learning and development

So much more than childcare