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Early years provision

(5 Posts)
ReadySteadyGo40 Wed 10-Jun-20 20:45:45

Today I recieved a text message with a link to read an update and fill in important information for our DS's early years education place (preschool, the year before school). I'm in Scotland and in January it was announced that our LA would be giving 3 & 4 year olds approx 30 hours a week of early years education instead of 15 hours in preschool settings automatically but you could also use it in private settings if you wish by applying for funding.

Anyway, the update said that they are not rolling this out anymore, not for preschools anyway and that they would 'try' to offer the 15 hours a week they previously got but this was not necessarily going to be possible for the entire 2020/2021 school year. Keyworkers children would be the biggest priority and basically everyone else have to take what they can get.

This is for children returning on the 11th of August, 2 months away. This is them deciding that for the next 14 months, they cannot offer what was previously going to be offered (30 hours) and also that for 14 months, they won't even be able to offer the bottom basic of 15 hours a week unless the childs parents are keyworkers?

I don't want to sound awful here but I'm sure I'll get jumped on anyway but we live close to the nursery and it's not even open and operating right now so there's no keyworkers children there. The same toy has sat in the same place in the playground for 3 months pretty much without being moved. So our LA will claim funding from the Scottish government to get 15 hours for all of our children but for the whole year, not even a 'we will see how it goes', won't even offer the children 15 hours unless they have keyworker parents. Who knows, they may even claim for 30 hours for each child.

It doesn't surprise me to be honest because as soon as lockdown started, our council cut recycling pick ups in half and changed the schedule for an entire year, not just a temporary measure while lockdown was strict or staff needed to shield. They also never had any of the grass getting cut for 3 months so people were out cutting it themselves (public areas etc).

This is an LA problem and not the schools. They have jumped the gun and cut back on everything for an entire year at least but that makes no sense as bars etc are getting to open on the 15th of July so it's looking like we could have some normality within the next 2-3 months. I'm aware there could be a second wave or the virus could cause stricter lockdown to come back into force but to categorically cut everything for a whole year and especially education is just ludicrous in my view!

The next council district over aren't doing this. They have allocated all children with their 30 hour chosen places and sent out letters saying it will be phased/part time until the time comes that it will be safe for the staff and children to return on a full provision of 30 hours. So it's possible, with luck, that the children under that LA could get 30 hours of early years learning at some point in the 2020/2021 school year but it's a categorical no and not even a promise of 15 hours for the children under our LA.

How are they allowed to do this?

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cheermeupifyoucan Wed 10-Jun-20 20:49:15

I hear you, our children have been massively let down in all of this.
I don't know the answer but I'm angry too.

ReadySteadyGo40 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:04:19

I know where I might start and that is if they get me to sign the form saying my child is attending X amount of hours so they need to claim X amount of hours funding from the government, if the X amount they are offering doesn't match the X amount on the form, I won't be signing it!

Our LA really have taken the opportunity to cut everything back as much as they can but I draw the line at them seizing the opportunity to screw over the children by restricting their education far beyond this pandemic

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Wheresthebiffer2 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:21:39

Nicola Sturgeon (or her spokesperson) announced in the very first week of lockdown that the roll-out for 30hours funded childcare was not going to happen in August. We've known for 12weeks already.

So it is not your Local Authority that made the decision - it was the Scottish Government.

Why did they change the plans? Because the lockdown means there was no chance all settings would be ready in time to implement the 30hours that was previously announced. There is staffing recruitment and practicalities like some buildings were not finished being built, and no time to train staff and get things organized.

Yes it is a let-down, but it's not a surprise, as I said, it was announced ages ago.

ReadySteadyGo40 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:43:42

Not really my complaint though is it? It's that they might not even get 15 hours, for a whole year, that has made me angry. I never saw that speech and my LA must have not either as they kept applications going for the 30 hours. All I know is that Nicola revoked it being mandatory for all LA's to offer it, she never said it wouldn't be offered. At the very start of lockdown I doubt she (or her spokesperson) said the 30 hours isn't happening at all or if they did, if it was only you that saw that. How could they have known anything then? She revoked LA's HAVING to offer it, that's all. Some still are or will, when it's safe.

I'm not bothered about 30 hours. 15 would be good. My DS is almost 4 and has had less than a term in pre school so far, 6 weeks to be precise as he was a January starter. If he, and the rest of the kids in his nursery that were January starters don't get 15 hours a week of nursery, they will be the first group of children to have gone to school with less than 1 year of basic early years provision of 15 hours a week for over 40 years. You can't just 'catch' up when preparing a child for school, there is a deadline. Preschool children should take priority over 3 years old doing their first year of preschool in my view. My DS got just 6 weeks of his first year of preschool and they want to mess with his second year too, his preschool year. It's horrible

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