Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Ofsted Director calls to scrap nursery subsidy for middle income families

(152 Posts)
Italiana Mon 03-Dec-12 09:03:59

Susan Gregory is calling for the 15 hours Free Entitlement to be scrapped for middle income families

This is a short preview in The Times today
www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/education/article3618366.ece

Italiana Mon 03-Dec-12 12:10:53
Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:12:04

Good idea, except it might encourage people who can't afford more children to have them? Otherwise - great - target the help.

cakebar Mon 03-Dec-12 12:18:03

That would be a shame for all the 3 and 4 year olds who will no longer get to go to preschool, which undoubtably will be the effect. I'm sure we would be considered middle income and I would not/could not have paid more than 2 mornings max, whilst I was home with a baby for the older siblings.

Pootles2010 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:18:27

Think it's inevitable tbh. Not sure about her comments regarding qualifications for nursery staff - its more than a lot of people can afford as it is, surely the cost would make it impossible?

WidowWadman Mon 03-Dec-12 12:22:08

Is that those middle income families who earn too much to get any help in terms of CTC or WTC?

Great idea, all it will do is stopping the lower earning partner in a couple from returning to work, as childcare costs are higher than post-tax income.

It'll aid deskilling of valuable workers, lead to frustration, put undue pressure onto the single earner, and be a further disincentive to working.

And also mean that those children who don't get the funding may end up not being able to mix with other children in a group setting until they start school.

MrsPotato Mon 03-Dec-12 12:26:31

I'm really shocked by this and think it is an appalling idea. As a former nursery worker and current CM 3 and 4 year olds need that access to an early years setting. It is vital preparation from school and just the right age to access nursery. EYEE was set up to benefit ALL children. If EYEE is means tested children will miss out.

Most middle earners will be paying nursery fees on top of the EYEE as they are, er, working, so need the childcare. So nurseries get a lot of extra income by taking these children (which may go some way to redress the difference between what nurseries charge and what LAs pay for a funded place).

And why the obsession with funded sessions for 2 year olds taking place in nursery? Deprived/disadvantaged 2 year olds are so much better off with a good CM. They can build up an attachment much easier with a sole carer which provides much more security to children who often come from chaotic and difficult homes.

And as for the suggestion that 15 hours of mean tested childcare a week would encourage people to have more children.....where to start with this one?! Ridiculous!

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:28:14

"Great idea, all it will do is stopping the lower earning partner in a couple from returning to work, as childcare costs are higher than post-tax income.

It'll aid deskilling of valuable workers, lead to frustration, put undue pressure onto the single earner, and be a further disincentive to working.

And also mean that those children who don't get the funding may end up not being able to mix with other children in a group setting until they start school."

I woudln't say that any of this is the responsibility of the welfare state.

NightLark Mon 03-Dec-12 12:28:56

Noooooo. Dear god, I'm not a low earner, but childcare costs are crippling us. I am desperate for the free hours to kick in. We have no childcare at all that we don't buy in. Feck.

mamij Mon 03-Dec-12 12:31:26

I am sure we would be classified as middle income. I'm a SAHM, as we couldn't afford nursery fees for one let alone two children. DD1 (3yo) is at preschool 3 mornings, and I'm relying on the 15 hours free to coming into place, so that we can afford to keep her there!

WidowWadman Mon 03-Dec-12 12:37:34

Brycie "I woudln't say that any of this is the responsibility of the welfare state. "

Don't you think that overall the state profits more from getting two lots of taxes of a working couple, for who the funded 15 hours are just about enough to be able to afford the childcare needed for both to work, or is the state better off by having one parent at home, the child not getting any childcare at all (thus resulting in loss of business for the childcare provider)?

If it's not the responsibility of the welfare state to ensure that all children have an equal chance of access to a preschool setting, why should it be the responsibility of the state to ensure it only for some?

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:37:55

If you stay at home and don't work you don't need free nursery places, certainly not provided at taxpayer cost. Nightlark I would have some sympathy with but still, it gets easier as they get older.

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:38:58

"If it's not the responsibility of the welfare state to ensure that all children have an equal chance of access to a preschool setting, why should it be the responsibility of the state to ensure it only for some?"

It would make more of a difference in their life chances, that's why. Even things out.

MrsPotato Mon 03-Dec-12 12:40:53

Betcha, the free place may benefit SAHMs but the point is it is fr the child, regardless of parent's circumstances. So it is children who would be missing out, regardless of your opinion on their parents.

MrsPotato Mon 03-Dec-12 12:41:37

Brycie, did you know your name autocorrects into Betcha?!

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:43:39

Excellent grin that is my next name change

The child doesn't miss out that much from a free nursery place. Parents can make up the difference. They're not stupid and useless!j

MrsPotato Mon 03-Dec-12 12:48:24

Just because they're middle earners doesn't mean they're good parents. And most good parents aren't qualified in early years! At most nurseries children will be looked after by qualified staff who understand how children learn and the best ways support their learning and teach them.

MamaGeekChic Mon 03-Dec-12 12:51:37

Middle income hit again... we have no CTC/TC and soon no child benefit, now the 15hrs might go too as a couple with one high earner and one low earner DP may aswell just pack his job in. We had planned to have another baby once the free hours kick in as we can't afford me to be off work and pay full time childcare and we certainly couldnt afford full time childcare for 2- at c.£2k per month who can? (that's about £3k per month pre tax income!)

I feel sad that decisions like this impact on our ability to have careers and children when we work to do the right thing and set a good example, be self sufficient etc whereas the decision to have children can be taken much more lightly by others for whom their children are provided for by the state.

WidowWadman Mon 03-Dec-12 12:52:07

Brycie If you stay at home and don't work you don't need free nursery places, certainly not provided at taxpayer cost.

We don't get a free nursery place, we get 15 hours subsidised, the rest we pay ourselves. If I (or my husband) stayed at home and the children wouldn't go to nursery, the taxpayer would save the 15 subsidised hours, but also lose all mine (or my husband's) income tax, we would gain entitlement to benefits we currently don't have due to our earnings, so the net loss to tax payer would be bigger.

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:52:14

Sorry I just don't see it as the responsiblity of the welfare state. We can't afford it, we managed for many years without it, its period of existence doesn't seem to have improved outcomes visibly at say 11, or even arrival at school, with more and more arriving in nappies, unable to hang up a coat or sit sit for five minutes.

The only children to enjoy a real, active benefit would be those who are much more deprived at home and the chances are that would be in families with lower incomes.

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 12:53:35

"I feel sad that decisions like this impact on our ability to have careers and children when we work to do the right thing and set a good example, be self sufficient etc whereas the decision to have children can be taken much more lightly by others for whom their children are provided for by the state."

I totally agree with this but I think the answer is different ie lower taxes or better still! tax relief on childcare.

MamaGeekChic Mon 03-Dec-12 12:54:55

I also think that if they are being removed from middle/high earners they should be removed from any family where 1 parent isn't in full time employment.

GreenPetals Mon 03-Dec-12 12:59:10

But nursery funding isn't about giving free childcare to parents.
It's about giving a fairer chance to children who might not get the appropriate input at home. This has nothing to do with income at all.
So what they are saying is : well off parents look after their dcs in a way that is adequate to their development. Lower income families might not so we are going to fund those????

MamaGeekChic Mon 03-Dec-12 13:00:34

So perhaps free hours should only be accessible via social work/GP/HV referal then?

GreenPetals Mon 03-Dec-12 13:01:49

And no I don't agree that the only children who benefit are the ones who are from low income families because they are the ones who are 'deprived'.

Lots of things can be picked up in nursery, incl children who are being hit, SN, langauge issues etc... that would then be addressed for another 2 years....

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now