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Obviously it is a great idea for Working Parents but

(55 Posts)
Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 18-Jul-15 19:39:58

Am I being unreasonable to wonder how the government are going to subsidise this.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 18-Jul-15 19:41:27

Sorry I didn't even say what I was writing about. It was in reference to the free childcare for all 3-4 years olds. From September 2017.

WorraLiberty Sat 18-Jul-15 19:42:02

What?

Gin?

Chocolate?

Drugs?

grin

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 18-Jul-15 19:46:26

Ha ha. If only no, free childcare for all 3-4 years olds. Starting September 2017

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 18-Jul-15 19:47:33

Well I imagine a hefty chunk of the NHS will have been sold off by then...

PtolemysNeedle Sat 18-Jul-15 19:49:14

We already have free early years education (which some use as childcare) for three and four years olds, they government are just increasing the hours. They pay for it by expecting the settings to operate on a completely unrealistic budget that doesn't even begin to cover the real cost. I think these settings are going to have to get very inventive about how they offer these hours and smaller ones with have to close.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 18-Jul-15 19:49:39

Yeah probably Alys. Knowing this wonderful government

RobotHamster Sat 18-Jul-15 19:50:59

Well, as it will enable me to work an additional day per week, the extra tax I pay will cover the difference. Obviously that's only one example, and I'm lucky enough to be able to increase my hours.

Hamiltoes Sat 18-Jul-15 19:55:48

The money saved in reducing tax credits perhaps? Not sure.

But in all honesty I can't see it working. The nursery adjoining my catchment school is full to capacity and thats only with the half days they have currently. The waiting list for P1 was 40 children long by December, and we're not even talking about a good school, we're talking about a bog standard school in a former mining area which is I think the 3rd most deprived in the city.

And it was only built two years ago! I just don't think they'll have the provision to do it, especially in more working class areas where like my kids, granny and grandad watched them 40hrs per week so I could go out and work until they hit 3 and got their half days. (i.E, its not as if my kids were taking up a private nursery place which will turn funded at age 3, there are barely any in the near area because demand is so low).

noisytoys Sun 19-Jul-15 23:11:26

My DD went full time to nursery when she was 2. When she was 3 and the 15 hours funding kicked in it didn't get any cheaper because they wouldn't charge a discounted session rate, they gave three hours 'free' per day and charged the hourly rate for the remaining seven hours. The monthly difference in fees was negligible. I can imagine them just increasing their hourly fee in the future.

BackforGood Sun 19-Jul-15 23:23:34

It was a wild election promise that they hadn't worked out the detail of.
My Local Authority can't offer enough places for the current EEE funding + 2 yr funding entitlement. There's no chance of them being able to find places for 30hours a week.
As time goes on, more and more Nurseries are withdrawing from offering the places anyway, as here (I understand this varies authority to authority) the Nursery is expected to subsidise every single hour the EEE funding buys. Surely, even if you knew nothing about childcare and education, like politicians who get to propose these ridiculous promises you would understand that there is a balance needed to keep any small business afloat, and that these small businesses can't afford to subsidise any government's election promises.

unlucky83 Mon 20-Jul-15 00:01:21

Hamil don't think it is going to happen in Scotland - it is a separate budget. The SNP increased from 12.5 hrs funding last year to the current 600hrs which is 15.7 hrs per week. They rushed it through just prior to independence vote and it was a complete hash...(I could rant...but I'll spare you)
Also if your area is anywhere like ours (I'm in Scotland too and involved with a preschool group) after a couple of years of very low numbers - our primary P1 was 15 children last year (a few years ago they had to turn children just out of catchment away at 26) - next year they are going to have a P1/P2 composite -they have a full P1 but the year after (August School Nursery intake) is going to be a nightmare -the ante-preschool last year was a humdinger - this year ante preschool is currently looking at slightly fewer children...
The extended hours in England/Wales for working parents shouldn't effect school nurseries -they can't do the hours - I imagine it will be the private nurseries and Cms who will have to provide them and hopefully will be able to average them out over the whole year rather than just term time - so 20ish hrs a week for 52 weeks a year (which will be a good thing - as long as school nurseries/playgroups etc aren't also required to provide the hours)
The only built it 2 years ago is interesting - I have real issues with councils taking a short term view of school rolls -I think they should consider much longer periods of time and greater leeway. In the next area when the numbers were low they were pushing to get children into the school nursery -extending the criteria etc. Which effectively forced the closure of the playgroup...last year they had nowhere for the children to go - sending the funded ante preschool children outside the area etc...in some cases several miles away.
Also in England a few years ago they closed down my former primary school (small village school they had been trying for years) - there just weren't enough children - the children were sent to a school 2 miles away with lots of space -which is now fit to burst with portacabin classrooms and they are building an extension. Meanwhile at the moment children who live next door to each other in my former school catchment are being bused 3-5 miles....to different places/schools cos there are no spaces anywhere...

mimishimmi Mon 20-Jul-15 00:17:48

If I was a private operator, I simply would not provide these 'free hours' or, if forced to, would massively up my hourly rate outside those hours to cover the pitiful amount I'd expect to get from the government.

kirbymagicyarn Mon 20-Jul-15 06:42:36

Same way as they are fundinf the 2 year old places, which are a lot more expensive due to ratios.

overreactionemoticon Mon 20-Jul-15 06:58:51

We currently have 35 children on roll mostly doing their 15 hours/week (a few of them split their entitlement between us and another setting).

We're a 24 place preschool, already with a waiting list and having to turn people away. We're currently open 7 3hr sessions/ week. Already we can't allow parents to pay for additional sessions because we don't have the places available.

To offer 30hrs (10 sessions) we'll have to find new premises as the hall we use isn't available for any more sessions.

We'll also only be able to have 24 children on roll, meaning we turn another 11 away as well as those we already have to sad

Spartans Mon 20-Jul-15 07:19:26

It's funny because before the election so many people on here were saying the Government should help more with child care fees.

Now they are everyone is convinced it won't work.

Our school only does morning sessions currently. So they will be able to increase theirs to accommodate

kirbymagicyarn Mon 20-Jul-15 07:22:09

It will work. Everyone had this panic about the 2 year old places and that worked out fine.

We're in Scotland but with the low funding given and the current availability of childcare I don't think it would actually be feasible to increase to 30 hours where I am. School nurseries tend to do a morning and afternoon shift with one being the immediate pre-schoolers (i.e. 4ish) and the other session being the younger year. Most don't have the space to have both lots in simultaneously. There's also a fair number of small morning only nurseries which work out of shared spaces like community centres and churches - and I can think of multiple examples where the other main user of the space is an after school club which would mean that if the nursery tried to go up to 30 hours the after school club wouldn't be able to operate. The contribution given to the private nurseries are massively lower than their fees. And childminders aren't allowed to provide it (and most wouldn't due to the low payments anyway)

I can't imagine the situation is all that different down south.

ButtonMoon88 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:32:12

It won't work for me. I'm a CM and I don't offer any funded places. It would mean too greater cut in my fees and as your accounts could be audited there is no way I could try and make up my loss of earnings without getting caught.

More affordable childcare is not possible unless the cost of living decreases. Its also important for parents to know what they are paying for. I obviously don't know what all your childcare arrangements are, but for a 40 hour week with me it will cost £950 per month inc of food, it's expensive but representative of the care the children receive. If I make it cheaper the quality of care will decrease. Then we will have other problems on our hands...

kirbymagicyarn Mon 20-Jul-15 07:35:20

It won't be for pre schools or childminders though. It will be for private nurseries. Everyone was flapping when the 2 year old places started and then the criteria expanded to cover a large percentage of 2 year olds. None have gone without a place in my area.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Mon 20-Jul-15 07:35:50

Waiting lists for most places around here already, so not sure how they're going to manage it. My concern is that the single parents will get sanctioned by the Job Centre for not taking jobs when they have no child care as the places are full, and Job Centre will take the stance that "30 free hours are available, it's not our fault that you can't find anywhere that has a place for your child."

NK5BM3 Mon 20-Jul-15 07:42:49

I won't be using this as my last child will be going to school in September. I work full time and both kids have been in nurseries since they were 6 months old. My bill has been horrendous and although I can afford it, it was hairy for a few years. Our savings have been depleted, and it costs us £10,000 a year per child.

The nursery just basically ups their fee for the normal fee paying children in an effort to subsidise the rest. Our fees went from something like £38/day in 2008 to £50+/day in 2015. If we even have another child accidentally, it would be bankruptcy for us.

The govt offering to offer more free places is a good idea, however working that out to benefit all working people, whether they are low paid or otherwise, has to be the key.

Superexcited Mon 20-Jul-15 07:44:57

I read a report a couple of days ago (can't remember where now) and it said that the govt is planning to stop income support for single parents once their youngest child reaches 3 years old. They are expecting parents to start preparing for work once their child is two and to seek work as soon as their child is 3.
If this report is accurate then it suggests that the additional free childcare hours are just a ploy to force parents back to work even sooner. I think this devalues the role of a SAHP even further and suggests that a WOHM is right for all single parent families. I have no problem with people being helped back into work but it seems more like they will be forced back to work before their children start school and they will be penalised if they are unable to secure work quickly (as well as being at the mercy of job centre sanctions etc).

countryandchickens Mon 20-Jul-15 07:45:03

Isn't the cost of childcare the main barrier to women (and it usually is women) returning to work?

I don't think that's a good thing at all and I think this is a really good policy. I've been surprised at the resistance to it on here, in fact.

ButtonMoon88 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:00:32

I think it will mean the closure of a lot of nurseries to be honest, that or a lot of nurseries dropping down a grade. I can't see how the govt expect great quality childcare at more affordable prices if they aren't also going to lower the cost of other things.

I think it will eventually come into place for CM just as the funded 15hrs for 2&3yr olds did. I will continue to not offer either and if the time comes where it is compulsory (my deepest fear) then I will close my business and find another job!

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