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£2 million for new childcare businesses announced by Maria Miller MP - what are your thoughts on this news?

(22 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 15-Nov-12 10:13:49

Hi there,

Many of you may have heard the news that the Government has announced a new £2 million scheme to help people wishing to start up new childcare businesses. From April, small grants of up to £500 will be available to help with the cost of childcare start-ups.

How do you feel about this news? We'd love to know.

Many thanks,


Italiana Thu 15-Nov-12 10:31:43

£2m is barely enough to set up 6,000 new businesses at a time when current settings are struggling with sustainability especially those delivering Free Education and subsidising it
This funding from Miller, Minister for women and equality, will not reach providers unless those who are given it are accountable
Miller has no idea how much it costs to even register let alone set up a childcare business and the beaurocracy that surrounds tape by the govt intent on cutting it?

Clegg also announced £100m in the summer for expansion especially for 2 year olds at a time when childminders have the spaces and availabilty and no need to expand
Those who received it have not published who is benefitting from it and providers are not getting any benefits, as far as I know, probably because it has gone to LAs who are not accountable

£60m was recently announced by the DfE for Grants Programme for 2013/2015 for voluntary organizations for similar purposes
Who knows who will benefit from this?

At a time when E Truss is looking into streamlining funding for accountability the 3 fundings from 3 different streams show the govt has not got a grip on resolving the childcare issue and should look at own red tape

Be aware that often 'new found money' is actually being taken from pots that are supposed to serve the poor and given to the needy somewhere else...rob Peter to give to Paul as in the Cleggs' funding taken from Sure Start

duchesse Thu 15-Nov-12 10:36:14

Sounds like a headline move. Not much use financially (how far is £2m really going to go?). £500 does not sound like much to help set up a childcare business- registration alone must be more than than, before you've even begun to have checks and audits.

poopnscoop Thu 15-Nov-12 12:44:59

£250 for childminders and £500 for nurseries... ? That is nothing, believe you me, with what is involved. Make that £2,500 and £5,000 and then it's some kind of help.

wednesdaygirl Thu 15-Nov-12 12:49:42

Well some of us got nothing and i had nothing so had to buy equipments/paperwork etc from my own money so if these new cm got a £200 boost to help them on their way well its better than nothing smile

minderjinx Thu 15-Nov-12 13:15:49

But how fair is this on existing childminders/nurseries? It may sound like sour grapes but I'm not that thrilled about competitors getting cash for shiny new toys and equipment. But I honestly think more would be achieved by putting more effort and funding into supporting both new and existing childcare practitioners - and note that I say "supporting" not burdening with yet more bureaucratic nonsense.

sillymillysmummy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:47:58

In our LA we have always had a £500 start up grant, it has lead to there being too many childminders in some areas, and therefore lots of those businesses haven't been sustainable. 75% of my network group are considering giving up as the business just isn't around in our area.

whistlestopcafe Thu 15-Nov-12 13:51:40

What are they trying to achieve?

We have lots of childminders and nurseries in our area. The problem is the cost of childcare. Childminders cost £6.50 + per hour and nurseries charge £50+ a day. More of the same isn't going to change anything.

fraktion Thu 15-Nov-12 14:08:18

Realistically it's not enough cash. The initial course alone is nearly £200 for CMs. £500 isn't going to touch a nursery. It's quantity over quality, 5 minimally qualified practitioners over 1 who can really make a difference.

The money could be better used elsewhere. The daycare trust report pointed to a shortage of places for 3/4 year olds in London. How many of those are taken up by children usually in childcare which can't deliver the funded hours (eg nannies)? If you funded nannies to deliver that then that would a) relieve pressure so the targeted groups could get access and b) make the other forms a more realistic and sustainable childcare option anyway.

Look into out of school provision. Look into care to cover atypical working patterns. Incentivise workplaces crèches. There are better ways to spend that £2m.

Fund and expand existing projects first. When you have the system working well look at funding new start-ups. Funding is a mess - sort it. Stop giving money to LAs where it disappears, stop funding projects and then withdrawing support so they collapse. Look at where the childcare gaps are. There are CMs put there struggling to fill places. Why?

Now is not an attractive time to be moving into the sector because there is too much change.

Mum2Luke Fri 16-Nov-12 17:03:53

whistlestopcafe where do you live that childminders cost £6.50 per hour? shock I live in Greater Manchester and I was charging £3.50 per hour before I finally resigned last due to me to wanting to compete any longer with private day nurseries who offer free childcare sessions.

We have no funding so training has gone online and is chargeable and our Early years Quality team has all but disappeared.

I do not regret resigning now.

poopnscoop Fri 16-Nov-12 18:12:41

We charge that in London Mum2Luke.

whistlestopcafe Fri 16-Nov-12 18:17:05

South East - Mum2Luke. £6.50 is the minimum, some charge over £8.00 per hour.

Italiana Sat 17-Nov-12 06:47:55

No it is not enough, obviously Miller does not have a clue how much it costs to start a childcare business...she should have consulted Truss who is the mathematician
In Nursery World the new comers who would benefit from this funding are described as 'entrepreneurs'...reminds me of The Apprentice!!!
It just shows the little respect they have for children...entrepreneurs may have no knowledge of child development and come into the profession attracted by Truss' promise they can make money looking after 5 under 5!!!

It makes me hopping mad how these politicians come out every now and then and 'throw' money at fact they are just giving us the crumbs left on the table

Some people have flagged up the fact that exsisting settings are struggling so there is no capacity for 6,000 new one.....and money should be invested in current practice
Also Like I have said it will depend who gets given the funding and who they give it to...come back in a little time and tell us if anyone here got even a penny of it?

Unfortunately this too will pass unnoticed as EY workforce are so disillusioned and fed up with what is going on

tramplineman Sat 17-Nov-12 15:00:25

What concerns me is that if a childminder claims £250 to start up in April and then gives up within a year - this grant is wasted. Who is going to monitor this?

fraktion Sat 17-Nov-12 20:28:52

tramplineman that's an excellent point. I'll have £250 and spend it on resources, give up CMing and have lots if lovely new toys for my DC... Or not.

At what point is this grant being given? If it's for training it would have to be pre-registration. If it's once they're successfully minding that's not start up costs and it incentivises a bums on seats approach, or rather kids in childcare... Plus the people who need the grant won't get it be Aude they won't have been able to afford the training in the first place.

Italiana Sun 18-Nov-12 07:32:10

When this sort of grant was available years ago in some LAs if you were given it and then gave up within a year you had to pay it back (in my LA it was £500 when I registered 11 years ago!!! so this is purely an insult by a politician who knows nothing about setting upp childcare)
I am sure that, as the grant will go to the LAs to distribute they will apply Terms and Conditions again...

I believe this grant is not available until next years and it comes from the savings made by the culture dept we should try to stop it by saying it will be a waste of money..I am certainly going to write to Miller and her mate Truss the matematician!!

Strix Sun 18-Nov-12 12:29:24

Agree with minderjinx. Would prefer the govt support well established existing childminders.

Actually I'd prefer they just make the money I spend on childcare tax deductible which would llow me to give more money to my childminder and then she could support her business without govt funding.

Oh, I know, they could shut down OFSTED and save all kinds of money there!

Akasa Sun 18-Nov-12 15:11:25

Like Strix, I agree that existing providers should receive support too. If more investment was made in existing providers, there would not be the need to try and attract so many newcomers into the profession. Whilst I accept that there needs to be "new blood" coming in all the time, there seems to be a disproportionate emphasis on "new starters" - when I started my C/M business 15 years ago, I did not receive any financial help.

Strix, you mention about payment to childcare services needing to be tax-deductable but what about the voucher scheme where an amount can come out of your pre-tax income??

tramplineman Sun 18-Nov-12 18:49:56

Also, if I was a registered childminder - I am self-employed. I set my own hours to fit in with my family and my set my own hourly rate depending on what service i provide. So, if I become a childminder, claim the £250 and then only work 3 days a week and not in the school holidays, would I be filling a gap in the childcare market? Trouble is that you cannot link the grant to how many hours childcare you provide and when. If you could it should only be available for childminders who offer a miminum of 8 hours of childcare a day, 5 days a week. Otherwise, Maria Miller will still have insufficient childcare because the childcare on offer does not meet the requirements of the parents who want.

Strix Mon 19-Nov-12 09:42:40

The childcare vouchers I am entitled to are so small that I consider their contribution to be virtually negligable in the greater scheme of my monthly childcare costs. I use them, but they barely make a dent.

I would like all of my childcare costs to be tax deductible. I also would like self employed people to be included.

A more realistic contribution to monthly childcare costs would be about £1500 - £2000 of tax deductable income. I'd settle for £1000.

bitsofmeworkjustfine Tue 20-Nov-12 08:08:17

this isnt anything new. You USED to be able to get a grant for £500, which was promised to me two years ago. 2 weeks before i compelted the course the grant was removed.

fast forward two years and now you are offering it again and saying its new.....

what about the people who have struggled to set up a business in the meantime?

Strix Tue 20-Nov-12 10:52:33

My thoughts are they should help working parents pay the bills and remove the red tape of funding the providers directly.

Just let working parents keep some of their hard earned money for the purpose of paying the childcare. Higher vouchers (and I mean WAY higher, like £1500 per month), make income spent on childcare tax deductible?

They can help pay for this by slashing the size and powers of the Ofsted quango.

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