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Ofsted Director calls to scrap nursery subsidy for middle income families

(152 Posts)
Italiana Mon 03-Dec-12 09:03:59

Susan Gregory is calling for the 15 hours Free Entitlement to be scrapped for middle income families

This is a short preview in The Times today

Offred Thu 06-Dec-12 07:22:38

Preschool has a link to gender equality in a system based on paid employment.

Italiana Wed 05-Dec-12 19:38:01

I agree and never said it was just for parents using c/ms...we maybe the first in line for changes but I feel every provider will be touched by the changes in future as will the parents and the topic is far from being discussed just in this forum.
The peole at the conference yesterday were not just c/ms but from every part of the sector, charities and childcare experts

LadyInDisguise is right...other countries believe in preschool education and get it right while we have regularly changes and reforms

minderjinx Wed 05-Dec-12 19:14:31

This is a very thought provoking thread Italiana - but is it in the right place? This should be a concern to every parent of young children or parent-to-be, not just the relatively few who frequent the childminders and nannies area of the forum.

Climbingpenguin Wed 05-Dec-12 16:57:00

OP that is a good point, all of a sudden Ofsted have become political. I hadn't realised why all her comments had been so alarming to me.

LadyInDisguise Wed 05-Dec-12 16:14:07

But if sending children to pre school not an advantage, why are some many other coiuntries doing so then (I am thinking Sweden, France, Belgium etc...) Why would all these countries believe that it's a help for all children to be in a system that will support them (equally) if this assumption that children benefit from it fraud??

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 05-Dec-12 14:16:07

"So it seems like maybe we're confusing two things here: state-funded early interventions for children who are disadvantaged at home, and a fair taxation/benefits system that doesn't seem to penalise responsible hard-working middle-earners. Different issues which probably need different solutions."

Completely agree Ephiny, but in the absence of the latter a lot of working parents are relying on something that was designed to solve the former. I would be in favour of making early years free for those in need only IF there was a proper system for making working to pay for childcare affordable. The current childcare voucher system is completely inadequate in my eyes, given the curent monthly max barely covers 4 days childcare in lots of areas of the country.

Italiana Wed 05-Dec-12 13:55:06

Strix Maybe not over Ofsted but you can influence the DfE who will be changing things in the near future and, as Ofsted, has now entered the political arena this is dangerous

I was at the Daycare Trust conference yesterday and I am stunned they still have no solution to what they call the childcare problem...while evidence stares them in the face!
I feel this is all to do with costs and nothing to do with what is in the best interests of our children
I will feedback about the conference later

libelulle Wed 05-Dec-12 13:33:42

Where do you stop then Edgar? We need universal public services, or they will become substandard ghettos for the poor and excluded who have no other options. That's the whole point of the welfare state, which is being systematically dismantled by the tories. They know exactly what they are doing, and it certainly isn't about helping the poor.

EdgarAllanPond Wed 05-Dec-12 13:06:20

having read the article the purpose of this would be to focus funding on the children of the least well off.


though i doubt the government would do it as it would be outrageously unpopular at grass roots - the politically active Mummies i know would be incensed! most with 2yos are counting the days until nursery.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:36:48

As I see it if it were about bringing on abused and neglected children there wouldn't be a general govt scheme at all it would be a tool in the social worker's hands able to be awarded to children who "needed" it. What is proposed is simply a means tested benefit and nothing else.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:31:31

(Poor people are also more often treated like crap)

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:29:36

I wouldn't argue with the fact that social workers see poor people more often btw I just think the reasons for this are more complicated that poor people are more often crap.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:27:59

I have provided some evidence for what I say Brycie, it is a little more than "well intentioned". Where is the evidence that targeting is efficient and cost effective? Targeting saves money by destroying the service, it is introduced so that a service can be removed as a transitional arrangement. While there is still a state structure costs are often increased elsewhere in the system like in social services as the rest of the system picks up the slack in a much less effective way.

libelulle Wed 05-Dec-12 12:26:15

sorry, being seen as a service

libelulle Wed 05-Dec-12 12:25:40

At what point will people be starting to say that middle income families need to pay for their primary school education too? That's the logical next step. Nursery school is an integral part of the development of preschoolers and it seems incredible to think that it is suddenly being a 'service' that parents need to pay for if they can (theoretically) afford it. It's a slippery slope, and this kind of argument is grist to the mill of the kind of free-marketeer who would get rid of all public services altogether.

Brycie Wed 05-Dec-12 12:22:27

Offred: no, I don't, but I think many people who do might disagree with you.

However I must say this: I am being unnecessarily sharp when you are obviously nice, well intentioned and concerned and not snarky at all. I just disagree with some of the things you say but there's no need for me to be a twat.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:18:26

What's that got to do with anything? Are you trying to say you do and that's why you think people who are poor are often crap and that's the end of the story?

Brycie Wed 05-Dec-12 12:17:13

"it isn't as simple as people who are crap are often poor"

Have you ever worked in a social services department?

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:16:06

IME and IMHO the whole world falls over to forgive and cover up even overt abuse or neglect in wealthy families whilst it often makes assumptions in planning services that poor = crap.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:40

There's also a complicated relationship between poverty and social problems, it isn't as simple as people who are crap are often poor.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:12:13

No, what I am saying is the government shouldn't target a service it says is to "bring on" children that are behind at poor people because universal provision better targets the children who need it and costs less as written about in that report.

Anecdotally I have only met one person who had children in the situation you described, she had four of them and she was exceptionally well off with a husband earning serious £s and children in prep school rather than nursery. She was also a "community figure". Her children were getting the 15 hours at prep school.

Brycie Wed 05-Dec-12 12:07:47

Of course it matters. You're saying you shouldn't assume low income parents are bad parents. I don't. You elided my point into something rather different.
I say (though I didn't at the time, it was more implied than said) that socially and "educationally" disadvantaged children more often come from the lowest income families. The parents of such children don't seem to care about the stigma of having a child in nappies at four, who can barely speak, who can't drink from a cup or follow a simple instruction. If they can be bothered so little with their children (who would benefit the most from free pre-schooling) then the opportunity of fifteen hours without them might not be affected by a sense of stigma.

Offred Wed 05-Dec-12 12:07:44

That's true small although our primary doesn't have a preschool, that is the reason mine have all taken up their entitlement too.

SmallIWantForXmasIsA6ft2Dwarf Wed 05-Dec-12 12:03:04

My child is no longer in pre school so this change won't affect me but I can see that for others it will be a bad move.

SmallIWantForXmasIsA6ft2Dwarf Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:27

I think this is a disaster. It's not about earnings it's about children getting ready for school, social mixing and learning with children of their own age. I had already paid for childcare elsewhere but still took the preschool place as I wanted my child to experience that mix, if I had to pay for it then it wouldn't have happened.

In our preschool there were a mix of children from a very broad range of backgrounds including obviously deprived ones.

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