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To think the NCT should be free or much cheaper?

(155 Posts)
TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 05-Jul-15 14:37:59

So to many people £48 for an 18 month membership is's spare change. But that charge effectively exlcludes anyone on a really low income.

So only those who can afford it will benefit from what is essentially meant to be a charity to support parents or parents to be.

Their "vision" is copied below

Our vision is a world in which parents are valued and supported to build a strong society, believing that a child’s early years significantly impact upon the future they help to shape.

Our charitable purpose

We offer information and support in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
We campaign to improve maternity care and ensure better services and facilities for new parents.
We aim to give every parent the chance to make informed choices.
We want to make sure that everyone has access to our services and activities.

But only if you have a spare 48 quid?

this Guardian Article claims that NHS antenatal classes are patchy...and that the middle classes are signing up to the NCT ones which are private of basically the working classes and the unwaged are either getting nothing or not much.

WHY is the NCT a middle class thing? It's meant to be a charity!

MrsHathaway Sun 05-Jul-15 14:39:55

Membership is subsidised for low incomes. Most things are accessible without membership anyway. Class fees are means tested.

I have a lot of issues with nct but I think you've missed something.

Raveismyera Sun 05-Jul-15 14:40:08

They offer reduced or free rates to those on low incomes for the courses- I don't know if they do for membership but why would you need membership?

Raveismyera Sun 05-Jul-15 14:41:31

although tbf the membership you've quoted is £2.50 a month? That price doesn't exclude many

SweetCharityBeginsAtHome Sun 05-Jul-15 14:42:27

Membership is a tenner if you recieve ESA or tax credits. And in fact you probably don't "need" membership.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 05-Jul-15 14:42:30

You don't have to have membership and they offer extremely reduced rates to people on low incomes. One of the couples on our course paid £20 for the entire thing (student vicars).

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 05-Jul-15 14:44:17

Rav I don't think they take monthly payments though.

Then why is it such a middle class thing?

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 05-Jul-15 14:44:50

Also £20 for the entire thing is not accessible to many. It simply is not.

Raveismyera Sun 05-Jul-15 14:45:59

My membership is taken quarterly, £10 a quarter

Maybe it's a middle class thing because the middle classes are interested in their offerings? Much like John Lewis grin

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 05-Jul-15 14:46:39

Yes but the point is that they allow you to pay what you can afford. £20 was what was affordable to them. Other people get it for free.

Egosumquisum Sun 05-Jul-15 14:46:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raveismyera Sun 05-Jul-15 14:46:56

So is this about the money or not? Because many have posted now that the cost can be means tested

hibbledibble Sun 05-Jul-15 14:47:27

As many others have pointed out, they have reduced membership rates.

Besides membership is not actually needed for anything, other then early entrance to nearly new sales.

honeysucklejasmine Sun 05-Jul-15 14:47:45

I'm probably going to get flamed for this...

But if you can't afford £20 or even £48 ... Can you afford a child?

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 05-Jul-15 14:48:22

Also, I was told by my midwife that there was no room on my NHS course so not to bother registering. Maybe that needs addressing!

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 05-Jul-15 14:48:39

Honey that's nothing to do with the question.

Egosumquisum Sun 05-Jul-15 14:49:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chestnutmare Sun 05-Jul-15 14:49:56

I was going to say the same as honeysucklejasmine

Besides, I'm pretty sure NCT isn't essential. I have managed to have a baby and keep her alive and happy for a year now and I didn't have NCT membership or go to any of their classes.

Raveismyera Sun 05-Jul-15 14:50:15

Honey maybe you spent all your money on the baby so there isn't £20 leftover? You can hardly prioritise nct membership which you don't need for anything

MabelSideswipe Sun 05-Jul-15 14:50:19

Membership is very cheap for those on certain benefits and there are discounts on classes for the low waged. They don't even ask for evidence.

You don't need to be a member or attend classes to access services such as the local branch meetings and events and the helplines and breastfeeding help.

The NCT now offers 2 levels of antenatal classes so there is a more affordable option. When these courses were designed the idea as that they would be free as funding would come from government but surprise surprise this has not happened.
Courses cost money to run in terms of venues, materials, refreshments and facilitator fees. How should the cost be covered?

Egosumquisum Sun 05-Jul-15 14:51:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SweetCharityBeginsAtHome Sun 05-Jul-15 14:51:50

It's a middle class thing because it's a middle class thing. The major perceived benefit of NCT classes is the ability to make other "mummy friends" in your area who will be "like minded".

Any number of MN threads on "are NCT classes a good idea?" will have a slew of answers along the lines of "classes aren't necessary but it's a great way to meet people in the same boat" eg.

In the interests of clarity I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Middle class mothers can get PND, or stress due to social isolation too, so enabling them to make friends is genuinely valuable. But it is at odds with the aim of widening participation. AFAIK the leadership are well aware of the issue and struggling with it.

The campaigning aspect of their work of course potentially benefits everyone, rich and poor.

BikeRunSki Sun 05-Jul-15 14:53:12

Membership gives priority Entrance to out local Nearly New Sale, not exclusive entrance. Anyone can get priority and free entrance by volunteering.

PtolemysNeedle Sun 05-Jul-15 14:53:27

My initial thought is the same as Honeys tbh, but leaving that aside, they are accessible to people on lower incomes if people ask.

Their service isn't an essential one though, it's perfectly possible to go through pregnancy and childbirth very successfully without the NCT so there's no real need for it to be free. Loads of charities have to charge for their services, they simply wouldn't be able to exist otherwise. They are still cheaper than they would be if they were profit driven companies.

Howmanywotwots Sun 05-Jul-15 14:54:01

I'm sure there's plenty of free services via sure start, nct is not a necessity

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