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Conservatives announce 30 hours free childcare per week - what do you think?

(131 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-Apr-15 09:00:42

In a speech this morning, David Cameron is due to announce 600,000 new free childcare places, and a doubling of free childcare hours from 15 to 30 for three- and four-year-olds from 2017, funded by reducing tax relief on pensions contributions.

Labour have promised 25 free hours a week, and to guarantee wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm for primary school children. The Lib Dems will extend existing provision for three- and four-year-olds to 20 hours a week, and will also offer 15 hours a week to all two-year-olds.

We'd love to know what you think about it all - do share your thoughts below.

GuybrushThreepwoodMightyPirate Wed 22-Apr-15 09:11:05

Where are all of these extra nursery places going to come from? I don't like the sound of paying for it from pension contribution tax relief; surely that will cost people more in the long run through needing to increase pension contributions?

Lots of these ideas sound good in principle but I can't see how they are going to work in reality.

Wotsitsareafterme Wed 22-Apr-15 09:12:28

Do we really want our pre school schoolchildren nursery for 30 hours a week?

Redlocks28 Wed 22-Apr-15 09:15:11

So-parents don't have to pay as its free, yes? But where's the money coming from to pay thousands of pounds worth of nursery workers' salaries?

nailsathome Wed 22-Apr-15 09:20:20

I think it should only be available to working parents too.

Wotsitsareafterme Wed 22-Apr-15 09:21:25

Seems like huge pressure for all parents to work to me hmm

Wotsitsareafterme Wed 22-Apr-15 09:24:12

Nails I agree why would you need 30 hours of you are at home?

Model5 Wed 22-Apr-15 09:25:47

Makes no sense at all to me. Yes, help those that need it most, but why should the taxpayer pay childcare costs for people who are well off?

Why go to all the bother of taking child benefit from those people only to return it (and more) in subsidised childcare?

I'm afraid this is another in an increasingly long list of policies designed only to buy votes. There's no other reason to do it.

Redlocks28 Wed 22-Apr-15 09:39:45

Why is there now such a desperation to get both parents of children in full time work as soon as possible?!

Is it really good for society in the long term to have all children in childcare and all parents in work all of the time? Fine if you want to, but why the urgency?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 22-Apr-15 09:56:35

Wrap around care for primary school children would be a big help. If, like me, you'd love to go back to work but have no grandparents to help out and wouldn't earn enough to pay a childminder or the out-of-school club fees, free after-school care a couple of days a week would be very useful.

Redlocks28 Wed 22-Apr-15 10:00:47

Have labour offered free wraparound care? Or just guaranteed that it will be available?

26Point2Miles Wed 22-Apr-15 10:03:38

is the wraparound care for all children?

because its hard to get places as it is....if children from families who have a parent at home attend then that leaves less spaces for us who need them in order to work. how about holiday clubs? are they included?

seriously worried as I juggle childcare atm

Tanith Wed 22-Apr-15 10:04:36

They cannot fund the 15 hours now!

It's a real problem for childcare providers: we are expected to subsidise the shortfall which, since funding has been cut more and more, is considerable.

Expecting a childminder to subsidise a merchant banker, an accountant, a company director... I could go on hmm

They can promise all they like, but the devil will be in the detail.

Forced subsidies from providers?

Schools and nursery chains with high ratios?

Top ups (ie not free at all)?

StellaAlpina Wed 22-Apr-15 10:06:21

I think it'd be more helpful if there was free or subsidised childcare for younger children. I know there's some funding for 2 year olds, but they have to be 'disadvantaged' in some way. 3 years is a long time to be out of the workplace for some careers.

howabout Wed 22-Apr-15 10:06:26

I am all for giving people choices about going back to work but do not think they should be subsidised for doing so. I do not think 3 year olds would in general benefit from 30 hours of childcare, although I do think 15 hours of an educational nursery setting matching with school terms makes for a good transition towards school.

I would rather subsidy was put back into tertiary education to give people a debt free start to their working life so they are more able to plan financially for a family.

I have no great objection to removing higher rate tax relief on pension contributions and prefer it to cutting the 25% tax free pay out or cutting maximum contribution levels.

Tanith Wed 22-Apr-15 10:07:15

I doubt wrap around care will be free. They tried it with the Children's Centres and after school clubs.

Care was heavily subsidised, putting existing providers out of business. Then, when subsidies were removed, clubs started to fold and close down, leaving parents high and dry.

LadyStark Wed 22-Apr-15 10:17:23

I also think that support for working parents with younger children would be a better use of the money. Particularly that first few months of returning from may leave where you're normally skint from not being paid your full salary.

Support for that period would encourage more people back into the workplace if that's the aim of the game.

MrsWembley Wed 22-Apr-15 10:19:13

Oh ffs, they can't do right for some people!

This may be a small step, but at least it's in the right direction. People have been banging on for years that childcare provision in this country is far behind that of others, picking up on the Swedish model mostly, and forgetting the massive taxes they need to pay for it. At least they have given some clue that the funds would be there. Many, many people don't need don't need tax relief. Those that do will get it back in other ways.

And Labour's wrap-around care is just a guarantee that it would be available, not that they would pay for it.

And for the poster who asked why would we need it - if you don't need it, bully for you. Don't take it!

Model5 Wed 22-Apr-15 10:35:49

That's the point though MrsWembley. if it was available when my DC were small I would have taken it, although I managed without it, life would have been easier with it. But why should the taxes of someone earning less than me go towards making my life easier?

OddBoots Wed 22-Apr-15 11:12:25

They can promise free personal jets and mansions for all if they like too, if they don't promise they'll actually pay what it costs it means nothing.

Taliesinwest Wed 22-Apr-15 11:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IceBeing Wed 22-Apr-15 11:46:22

I think this policy is total crap - which would worry me if I thought they had any intention of delivering on it....but I don't.

IceBeing Wed 22-Apr-15 11:48:49

bringing up children costs money. Either you sacrifice a salary in your household to do it, or you sacrifice a salary in your household to pay someone else to do it.

It is not at all clear to me why parents shouldn't have financial responsibility for the upbringing of their children, unless they actually cannot afford it.

yellowdaisies Wed 22-Apr-15 12:11:34

I'd prefer to see a higher amount of child benefit paid to all parents, then leave them to decide whether to work or how to pay for childcare with it. Or more means-tested money for children paid with tax credits.

Free education should be for children who benefit from being in some form of education - from the age of 2.5 for 15 hours a week is about right. Younger than that, or for more hours is childcare rather than education, so should be up to parents to decide how to care for their children.

Taleggio Wed 22-Apr-15 12:20:53

I agree with Stella. It would have made more sense to give 15 free hours to all those under school age. Not everyone will want the 30 hrs if they work part time or are a STAP but 15 hrs across the board would be so much better.

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