Govt told: fund the 30 hours properly!
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  1. #1
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    Default Govt told: fund the 30 hours properly!

    The Pre-school Learning Alliance have told the Government -

    'Either it needs to fund the ... 30 hours ... offer properly, at a rate that ensures that neither parents nor providers have to incur any additional costs, or it needs to admit that the scheme is not "free" at all, but rather subsidised, and promote it to parents accordingly.' ...

    so say all of us!!

    https://www.facebook.com/PreschoolLe...70575596336378

    https://www.pre-school.org.uk/govern...rning-alliance

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    Hopefully the government will start to listen.
    I was pleased to read my own union also has appealed to the government about this too.

    Extra free childcare 'threatens nursery schools' - BBC News

    The more groups to stand out and give the real facts the better.

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    Let's see what happens... The thing is if they put more money in then where's it going to come from? Surely something else has to suffer to put extra money in?

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    I don't know why we can't just be allowed to ask for the shortfall of its lower than the local area rate, as surely parents would be happier paying a greatly reduced rate in the form of a £1-2 an hour 'top-up' than their childcare provider saying sorry no I can't afford to offer the hours so if you want to stay with me you pay full price.

    I know it would be hard to stop people charging way over to try to make a profit, but in my area the rate is £2 below our usual hourly rate so really quite a big difference and not financially viable to offer free hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex__17 View Post
    I don't know why we can't just be allowed to ask for the shortfall of its lower than the local area rate, as surely parents would be happier paying a greatly reduced rate in the form of a £1-2 an hour 'top-up' than their childcare provider saying sorry no I can't afford to offer the hours so if you want to stay with me you pay full price.

    I know it would be hard to stop people charging way over to try to make a profit, but in my area the rate is £2 below our usual hourly rate so really quite a big difference and not financially viable to offer free hours.
    I agree.

    The difference between some settings in my area is immense. Some offer amazing resources and equipment, fresh home cooked food, outings etc all included in fee, and others offer very little. (And yes, I know settings can charge for food, but if parent says no, then there is nothing a setting can do except ask child to bring own food) and yet ... The settings still get the same amount of funding per child.

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    Yes it makes much more sense to have it as a sort of voucher or money off system. Mine is £2.36 less than my hourly wage! It's ridiculous! And not only that but having to wait to receive the money for the term too. I do offer it but I minimise the amount of hours I will do and have decided to only offer it to children who are already with me, so if they are coming in afresh then I won't offer it. My la paid me too much by accident this time last year. I called them and asked if I could pay it back but they wanted to invoice me. I kept reminding them but they didn't send it out until August this year! So for nearly a year I had £1800 sitting in the bank of their money! Crazy!

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    Completely disagree about parents making up the shortfall. Immediately it has inequality - i wont say for the less well off as we all know that its about what priority parents give the service - i know some amazing parents who would scrimp elsewhere to afford high quality care / education fr their child and others who may be better off but whose acrylic nail costs are higher priority! Free should be free , not subsidised - by either the parent or the provider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    Completely disagree about parents making up the shortfall. Immediately it has inequality - i wont say for the less well off as we all know that its about what priority parents give the service - i know some amazing parents who would scrimp elsewhere to afford high quality care / education fr their child and others who may be better off but whose acrylic nail costs are higher priority! Free should be free , not subsidised - by either the parent or the provider.
    I agree with the principle of avoiding inequality, but the proposed system is no way to do that.

    One of the biggest problems is that the free hours kick in at 3 years, whilst their is less help before that point.

    I know I've left out the free hours for some 2yo's, as well as tax credits and childcare vouchers/tax-free childcare schemes. I'm taking these as a "given" whilst remaining mindful that they are less than perfect schemes. In short, the rules are such that some parents who really need help slip through the net, whilst other high-earners get help they don't necessarily need.

    The effect is that mums find it expensive, in terms of childcare costs, to get straight back to work after maternity leave. This has a greater impact on more "needy" mums: those with low incomes will see a greater proportion of their earnings swallowed up by childcare costs, and they have less/no savings to fall back on. Alternatively, they can put off their return to work until the child receives free hours, but that 2-3 year gap will make them far less employable.

    Moreover, the better-off mums are able to put their lo's into childcare after maternity leave. Mums who don't have an existing place before the child is 3yo are left ringing around desperate to find a vacant free place. But most of those places have already been "bought up" by the more affluent families who could afford to get a foot in the door nice and early.

    It's already happening in my area. Indeed, there's some evidence of nurseries advising/insisting parents book 5 days a week or a minimum 30 hours for a 1yo, in order to sure they have that place in time for the rush of 3yo's they expect when the 30 hours scheme begins.

    Free should be free , not subsidised - by either the parent or the provider.
    It's a fine goal, but how would you achieve it? If government agreed to pay all settings their full fee for the place, then we'd be mad not to put our fees up to £20ph and collect from the government? If not, then aren't we left with either CMs suffering a shortfall or parents paying a top-up? How?

    Personally, I find I have a gap between my ideological desire for universal free care and it's less-than-ideal reality. IME fully-funded clients seem problematic all too often. They seems to have notions of "entitlement" without much responsibility or commitment on their part. Our local preschool has a lot of fully-funded children. They are dreadful for taking odd days off without notifying the setting, or leaving without giving notice.

    i do think that people are naturally that bit more committed to something if they've had to at least put some investment into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samb View Post
    Yes it makes much more sense to have it as a sort of voucher or money off system. Mine is £2.36 less than my hourly wage! It's ridiculous! And not only that but having to wait to receive the money for the term too. I do offer it but I minimise the amount of hours I will do and have decided to only offer it to children who are already with me, so if they are coming in afresh then I won't offer it. My la paid me too much by accident this time last year. I called them and asked if I could pay it back but they wanted to invoice me. I kept reminding them but they didn't send it out until August this year! So for nearly a year I had £1800 sitting in the bank of their money! Crazy!
    I've had an overpayment too. it's the result of the "foolproof" computerised system that County imposed on us. Really just a bad piece of software that mucks everything up whilst allowing Capita convert even mre public money into Capita's profits.

    It is supposed to cross-check all 'shared funding' arrangements to avoid excess payments where a child attends two settings. It doesn't. It merely flags them up, leaving a council employee to alter the figures that both settings have entered. So we provide the correct figures; the system demands the admin staff check them; and the admin staff change them to incorrect figures and, hey presto, we all get paid the wrong amount.

    Isn't technology amazing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    Completely disagree about parents making up the shortfall. Immediately it has inequality - i wont say for the less well off as we all know that its about what priority parents give the service - i know some amazing parents who would scrimp elsewhere to afford high quality care / education fr their child and others who may be better off but whose acrylic nail costs are higher priority! Free should be free , not subsidised - by either the parent or the provider.
    Yes I see what you're saying and in an ideal world would agree but this then makes it unfair for the provider so whatever way you look at it, someone loses out financially. Just refusing to offer funded places is automatically refusing a group of children who can only afford to access it with the funding. But it feels unfair to be a provider and having to subsidise a place because the government doesn't pay enough. It is a battle between ethics for me. I want to provide as I feel it is a good idea and benefits the child but I don't want to lose out financially to do so. As it stands I offer funding and many times I have done so grudgingly which also isn't right. *sigh*

 

 

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