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Can all CM's now offer 15 hours free education?

(23 Posts)
OuterFromOutersville Thu 06-Feb-14 20:40:27

shock if so. Mine hasn't mentioned this if so.

minderjinx Thu 06-Feb-14 21:19:36

I believe all CMs rated good or outstanding by OFSTED can now choose to offer the 15 hours government funded (free to parent) childcare. But, it is their choice whether or not they do. I have decided against doing so for several reasons a) the rates paid are well below market rates for this area and it is not allowed to ask parents to top up to a fairer rate b) payment is made in arrears instead of advance c) the local authority accepts no responsibility for paying me if the parent proves not to be eligible, even if they mislead me to obtain childcare fraudulently. I know very few childminders willing to offer the funded places under these conditions. Many commercial nurseries are withdrawing from the scheme and it is largely those operating as charitable or religious organisations that do.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Thu 06-Feb-14 21:22:00

Nearly all the ones in our area do. In fact I don't know of any that don't (although I obviously don't know them all, have searched family information service, run a toddler group).

I think people only use the ones who will offer the free hours. Everyone is eligible once the term after they are 3.

OuterFromOutersville Thu 06-Feb-14 21:23:20

Thanks, that's interesting. I currently use some of the free hours at a pre-school. Hmm.

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 08:07:35

There are lots of good reasons why CMs and some nurseries choose not to offer the free hours.

Maybe your CM has never been asked before and would be prepared to offer them.

OuterFromOutersville Fri 07-Feb-14 10:07:31

I will speak to her about it, although I might also begin to use more free hours at pre-school.

PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 07-Feb-14 13:49:15

I could offer it but choose not to as I'd get £1.55 per hour LESS than my usual rate (so nearly £100 a month if they used all 15 hours with me) & as I've got a waiting list of people not wanting free hours & willing to pay me in advance it just doesn't make good business sense to offer it right now.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 07-Feb-14 13:58:45

Wow areas really must differ. I don't know anyone eho would pass up the free hours here!

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 14:25:59

Hardly any CMs in my area offer the funded spaces and I am seriously doubting why I do it, as I am much worse off.

changedirection Fri 07-Feb-14 14:30:40

My childminder does it. Think she mentioned she gets more than she charges us, we must be getting a good deal!

changedirection Fri 07-Feb-14 14:32:55

Sorry, that didn't answer your question!

As long as Ofsted registered, I think they can offer the free hours but they are not obliged to. You should ask her about it. She might nit even have thought about it / realised especially if not caring for any other 3 year olds

MyNameIsKenAdams Fri 07-Feb-14 14:35:27

Mine doesnt. She would be paid less, and has been informed pay can take three minths to process.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 07-Feb-14 15:47:42

So people are paying for childcare they can get free elsewhere? Is this a London thing? Or small area -high demand thing so there isn'tthe option?

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 16:03:31

No ... they are choosing to stay with good quality childcare, where their child feels safe and secure, rather than moving them somewhere else, just because it's free.

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 16:05:01

Don't forget, it's only 15 hours free and if a child is in childcare for 50 hours per week, then the other 35 hours have to be considered.

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 16:05:22

and only 38 weeks of the year

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 07-Feb-14 16:56:08

In my immediate circle a lot of sahm so choosing only to use the 15 hours in a lot of cases.

All 3 pre school provisions in the immediate area are ofsted outstanding and fantastic, the nursery is also ofsted outstanding. All take the funded hours. As do the cm as I said above. The private pre prep schools take the funding, as do the nurseries and pre schools further out.Fantastic care... and free! We must just be very lucky with our area.

Artandco Fri 07-Feb-14 17:00:14

We sent our two to nursery a few mornings. The nursery doesn't take any free hours as they ask much more in fees ie the government give say £3 per hour and nursery charges £10

squinker45 Fri 07-Feb-14 21:43:37

We started taking free hours as a favour to our parents and it's been nothing but a massive headache. Nurseries can do it more easily as they have favourable ratios and pay minimum wage, so if they have 8x3 yr olds per member of staff the numbers make sense.

Cms are unfairly discriminated against in this regard as the funding is universally capped at a level aimed at covering the cost of nursery care, not cm care, which is much more expensive (or should be) because ratios are so much smaller - cms can only have 3 x 3 yr olds.

If you take funding and no kind of top up in this area as a cm you lose at least 75p per hour per child, which for a 10 hour day is 7.50. not insignificant.

So we charged wrap around care for those who were funded, which significantly reduced bills for parents. I was willing to do the extra paperwork and get paid at inconvenient times to help out parents.

Until we were threatened by parents who demanded their right to free hours and nothing more. So now I don't take the funding. They can get free hours elsewhere, to the detriment of their poor child who was settled and happy.

We did not lose any other customers because of this, as they know their children are getting the best care, even though it's not free (or cheaper) anymore

HSMMaCM Fri 07-Feb-14 21:50:46

Agree squinker. It's not the same taking £3 per hour per child at nursery with a ratio of 1:8/1:13 as opposed to 1:3 for a CM.

PhoebeMcPeePee Sat 08-Feb-14 13:07:28

Let's not forget that the 15 hours free education is not intended as childcare for working parents but to enable all 3+ children access to early years education.

minderjinx Sat 08-Feb-14 14:10:13

I think there may well be areas of the country where the LA payment is closer to the "going rate" but unfortunately it is totally inadequate for parts of the country where the cost of living, especially housing, is much higher. In fact I am sure that full fees of CMs in more expensive areas nowhere near cover the differentials in costs of running a household. I have lived in another area where housing/mortgage costs were less than half what they are here, and a lot of other costs seem higher too. Offering a "free" place here effectively means the CM is subsidising it. It may be government policy to pretend that the cost of living is the same everywhere, but it is far from true.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sat 08-Feb-14 20:54:28

Well, DD does 3 full days at the nursery and our payments dropped by circa £200 after her 3rd birthday so it is a considerable amount of money.

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