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to not understand why those with lower income get free childcare even if they don't work

(434 Posts)
PrincessScrumpy Tue 03-Sep-13 13:47:18

2 mums from a toddler group I go to are on income support and their DC start their free 2 days a week at nursery at the age of 2. I have dd1 age 5, and dtds 2. We couldn't afford childcare for 2 babies so I had to cut my hours by more than half and work from home around dc which is hard but we wouldn't cover the bills if I didn't. obviously twins was a surprise and a huge financial hit so savings are very low/almost non existent.

Anyway, I have another year until my dtds get free childcare while a lady with one dc gets it at age 2 despite having no intention to work. This feels really unfair and I just don't get the reasoning.
I'm not trying to benefit bash but it's hard not to feel angry. Willing to accept iabu, but can't help feeling this way.

MurderOfGoths Tue 03-Sep-13 13:48:59

Aren't the free nursery places for everyone regardless of income?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 03-Sep-13 13:49:10

It's not childcare. It's so that their children get the chance to be exposed to a nursery/preschool type setting to help them stay on track with their peers. It's for the child, not for the parent.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 03-Sep-13 13:50:10

It's not childcare. It's early years education that is given to two year old children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have other difficult circumstances. It's the same as the free 15 hours for three year olds, just given a little bit early.

It's for the child's benefit, not the parents. And it wouldn't help very much as actual child care because its only short pre school sessions.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 03-Sep-13 13:50:28

I thought it was free to everyone.

MotherofBear Tue 03-Sep-13 13:51:11

As far as I am aware, all children are entitled to a certain amount of free early years childcare from the age of 2.5, regardless of whether the parent is working or not.

HeySoulSister Tue 03-Sep-13 13:52:47

You are 'angry' op?? About 2 year olds getting to go to nursery?

cakeL Tue 03-Sep-13 13:52:51

Yanbu, I had to double take at a poster recently outside a children's centre stating similar "if on benefits and have child of 2 we can provide free childcare..." I don't get it either with such a shortage of funding these days! I would be interested to understand the reasoning too!

MotherofBear Tue 03-Sep-13 13:53:20

Ooh, x-posts with many, sorry!

nicename Tue 03-Sep-13 13:54:33

I thought it was 3! It is here anyway - well you get the nursery education grant from the term after the 3rd birthday, which is supposedly 15 hours, but it really works out to about 5 hours in central London at a community nursery.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 03-Sep-13 13:55:13

From 2 years old if you are on income support you get 15 hours per week to use as you wish. Lady I know has her dd in nursery so unlike pre schools she can go for 2 full days.

we recently went to her house for her birthday party and she has a big garden and a house full of toys, plus a mum who sits and plays with her. I really struggle to see the disadvantage in this case.

forevergreek Tue 03-Sep-13 13:55:54

Everyone gets from age 3.

Those from age 2 are offered if from disadvantaged homes. So basically if the government think they need extra outside support to get them to thrive. It's is t really something to inspire for

The average family should be able to get their children to thrive alone.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 03-Sep-13 13:56:07

You get 15 free hours from the term after their third birthday I think. But how that 15 hours are allocated is a bit of a difficult one.

MurderOfGoths Tue 03-Sep-13 13:56:07

Because toys are a great substitute for social interaction.

MammaTJ Tue 03-Sep-13 13:57:38

I know someone who had two children under pre school age and doesn't work (understandably) but got more free child care than child care I used and paid for. Seemed a bit odd to me, after all, if she wants to be a mum, you would think she would want to look after her kids if she isn't out earning money to put a roof over their heads. However, I didn't get angry about it. I take your point HopALongOn though.

Around here, pre-school places are not funded until the term after a childs third birthday, and then only for three x three hour sessions to begin with.

Her DC were going for whole days, she put it that it was for her to get a break but I think now that the HV or maybe SW arranged it for the DCs sake, not something I could ever get angry about.

HeySoulSister Tue 03-Sep-13 13:58:04

Income support? Lone parents usually then.... You have a partner op? To, you know, help?

SamHamwidge Tue 03-Sep-13 13:58:50

Certain councils run the 'free for 2' scheme which is given to certain qualifying families before the 15 hours for everyone starts at 3. I don't know if this is a countrywide scheme or not but my local council (Kent) runs it. Are you in kent op? Just not sure everyone on here knows about it that's all.

I do agree it's a little unfair. As it stands right now it wouldn't be worth me working p/t because if I get WTC I lose the free entitlement. Hardly an incentive is it.

hazeyjane Tue 03-Sep-13 14:00:15

The criteria are, free for over 3's, free for over 2's if fulfilling certain criteria - eg income support, eligible for wtc, children in need etc. There are other circumstance such as my ds, who got funding because he has severe delays and is disabled.

It is to benefit the children who can gain from being in an early years setting.

I was never offered this. I had to wait and hes only starting next week at 3. 9 years old.

I couldn't get angry at toddler s going to nursery though.

gordyslovesheep Tue 03-Sep-13 14:01:26

mainly because it's NOT about providing childcare but about introducing early education to tackle social disadvantage

also - did the mum have a big screen TV a goat and some biscuit s

dreamingofsun Tue 03-Sep-13 14:01:58

isn't it to try and stop the kids being disadvantaged by the time they attend school. so that once they attend all the kids are the same standard of learning and therefore the class isn't held back.

nicename Tue 03-Sep-13 14:02:12

It is good for children to go to nursery - it really makes a difference when they start school if they have already had that socialisation. Plus it gives mums/dads a break for a few hours, especially if they are lone parents.

I think it should be free for all, but then there's no way the country could afford it.

hazeyjane Tue 03-Sep-13 14:02:15

sorry that should have been ctc, but not eligible for wtc.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 03-Sep-13 14:02:26

I'm angry that a mum who doesn't work gets to send her dc to nursery at 2 but because we aren't on income support we have to wait until 3 for our dc (first term after 3rd birthday) not 2.5 as someone stated. Might depend on county I guess but that's the rule here. I can't afford nursery so work evenings and weekends and am exhausted where as this lady (and others like her) get to have "lovely me time" as she put it during the week.

TheOrchardKeeper Tue 03-Sep-13 14:03:13

I get these hours and am an isolated single mum.

Im not thick or a bad mum etc. DS got given short slots where spaces were available so i didn't chose when. It's helped me study and helped my son to talk better. Id have been foolish to turn it down, even though it's unfair.

You seem to have judged quickly.

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