The DfE does it again...inequality for CMs
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  1. #1
    Simona Guest

    Default The DfE does it again...inequality for CMs

    We know that cms are not allowed to claim funding for educating their own children in their setting...I have no idea why and it bugs me to destruction....anything wrong with home education?

    It appears that some LA...misrepresenting the Childcare or something Act... or no wait the Childcare Act 2006 in force for 9 years .....was about to do the same for children of staff who worked in their nursery...but within a very short period of time the DfE rushed to clarify and all is now clear.

    When will the DfE stop treating Cms as if we are not part of the sector?...and who will speak up for us?

    Council stops children with relatives in nursery claiming free hours | Nursery World

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    I have written to PLA on behalf of childminders who are affected by this discriminatory decision - Neil Leitch has replied to say he has received my email and will get back to me shortly ....

    Dear Neil,

    As I am sure you are aware Lancashire CC recently sent out an email to providers informing them that if relatives worked in settings where children also attend they couldn’t draw the free funding. This was promptly retracted after an outcry from nursery providers and NDNA.

    However, it has caused a lot of confusion for childminders who had their funding withdrawn a while ago due to the rule Lancashire were citing. Nursery World reported it at the time -
    Childminders raise questions over funding for care of a related child | Nursery World

    The Nursery World article states at the bottom 'Under section 18 (4, the 'Meaning of childcare', the act states that 'Childcare does not include care provided for a child by a) a parent or step-parent of the child ... and c) a relative of the child).

    It goes on to say in paragraph 8 c) that a 'relative, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether of the full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership.'

    That's not going to be just applicable to childminders is it? What about nurseries or pre-schools owned by parents of children who attend the setting or settings where parents and other relatives work alongside their children? I know some settings have a policy of not allowing parents to work in the same room as their own children but that’s not universal and room ratios will dictate staff move around frequently.

    Childminders are asking why other providers are getting the funding for related children when we are not. I recognise that the difference DfE state is that the childminder (relative) is the funded / registered person whereas in nursery it is the setting as a separate legal entity that receives funding but it seems very unfair and discriminatory against childminders who provide the same level of care and learning to children and are inspected under and have to use the same framework as other providers to be denied the funding.

    Is this something PLA can look into on our behalf please?

    Many thanks,

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  4. #3
    Simona Guest

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    Thanks for adding your concerns to this dubious practice Sarah
    Both PLA and Pacey are aware of this arrangement ...I myself reported it to PLA a while back

    Pacey have replied that they will continue to press the DfE on this matter to get it sorted

    The DfE Guidance of Sept 2014 states very clearly on page 26 that Cms cannot draw funding for own children
    Strangely no one has noticed this discrimination before or maybe they have not read the publication....I recall very clearly this issue being discussed in this very forum

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...dance_2014.pdf

    We have succeeded in having cms included in 'Getting good seminars'...so this is another matter we need to press on to get equal opportunity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Thanks for adding your concerns to this dubious practice Sarah
    Both PLA and Pacey are aware of this arrangement ...I myself reported it to PLA a while back

    Pacey have replied that they will continue to press the DfE on this matter to get it sorted

    The DfE Guidance of Sept 2014 states very clearly on page 26 that Cms cannot draw funding for own children
    Strangely no one has noticed this discrimination before or maybe they have not read the publication....I recall very clearly this issue being discussed in this very forum

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...dance_2014.pdf

    We have succeeded in having cms included in 'Getting good seminars'...so this is another matter we need to press on to get equal opportunity
    I can maybe understand not being able to claim funding for own children, I do know of childminders who offer funding who send their children to other childminders to get the funding but "other relatives" as detailed in Sarah's post "that a 'relative, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether of the full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership." is just too broad - it should be just parent.

    Also how would they know if I gave funding to my grandson as he has a different surname to mine? Or are we going to have to provide a 6 generation family tree to prove that child is not related - In this world of 2nd marriages I think everyone is related to everyone else anyway - I was once asked to look after a 3 year child (but didn't have a space), she was my son-in-laws half sister therefore my grandson's half auntie!

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  7. #5
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    I can maybe understand not being able to claim funding for own children, I do know of childminders who offer funding who send their children to other childminders to get the funding but "other relatives" as detailed in Sarah's post "that a 'relative, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether of the full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership." is just too broad - it should be just parent.

    Also how would they know if I gave funding to my grandson as he has a different surname to mine? Or are we going to have to provide a 6 generation family tree to prove that child is not related - In this world of 2nd marriages I think everyone is related to everyone else anyway - I was once asked to look after a 3 year child (but didn't have a space), she was my son-in-laws half sister therefore my grandson's half auntie!
    I see where you are coming from HH.
    My understanding is that a setting drawing the funding has to fill the census provided by their LA.
    I would assume this will then be connected the child to the registered provision? relatives would not be qualified to offer funding to a CM's child if she decides to send that child elsewhere?

    The other argument put forward is that Cms are basically home educating their children and, if entitled to draw funding, should be able to claim for their own children too?

    What I am worried about is how quick the issue of nursery staff has been dealt with while the CMs exclusion has been the DfE guidance since Sept 2014 and no one has been able to resolve it that quickly.

    Lets hope for a speedy solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    I can maybe understand not being able to claim funding for own children, I do know of childminders who offer funding who send their children to other childminders to get the funding but "other relatives" as detailed in Sarah's post "that a 'relative, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether of the full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership." is just too broad - it should be just parent.

    Also how would they know if I gave funding to my grandson as he has a different surname to mine? Or are we going to have to provide a 6 generation family tree to prove that child is not related - In this world of 2nd marriages I think everyone is related to everyone else anyway - I was once asked to look after a 3 year child (but didn't have a space), she was my son-in-laws half sister therefore my grandson's half auntie!

    I wondered about the different surname bit as well.... I can't actually work out how they would check if you had a different address and surname to a grandchild surely no one would know?

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    This links to childminders looking after there own grandchildren but not being able to be inspected properly if they are the only children present. Ridiculous in my view that a childminder can only get a 'met' for an inspection where grandchildren are the only children present. In my view call children regardless of parentage should be treated in exactly the same way as other children!

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    I take care of my Nephew 16 months, he is treated exactly the same as the other children LJs in place etc, parents pay and it is treated as a business arrangement. Although I know when he turns 3 they will access funding via the nursery attached to the school it still is very unfair that I wouldn't be able to claim his funding if the parents wished as I have taken care of him since 5 months old!

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    I understand that the rule has come about because of wording in the Children's Act:

    ) “Childcare” does not include care provided for a child by
    (a) a parent or step-parent of the child;
    (b) a person with parental responsibility for the child;
    (c) a relative of the child;
    (d) a person who is a local authority foster parent in relation to the child;
    (e) a person who is a foster parent with whom the child has been placed by
    a voluntary organisation;
    (f) a person who fosters the child privately


    They're saying we can't use the education funding because we aren't technically providing childcare to a relative. Doesn't it then follow that we aren't providing care as far as tax credits and employer vouchers are concerned, but parents can still use them to pay us? I really hope they don't ever decide to stop us being paid by tax credits & employer vouchers as well.

  13. #10
    Simona Guest

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    The Childcare Act 2006 has recently been revised by this govt ...DfE input very vital ...and I believe the Act is still under revision.

    My understanding is that it is since the update by this govt that CMs have been excluded from drawing funding for their own or related children....correct me if I am wrong

    Prior to 2012 CMs ...very few of them...were able to draw funding for any child at all, unless they belonged to a Network.
    Truss put a stop to that and opened the funding for Cms while in return the DfE excludes Cms access for their children...meanwhile nurseries and preschools happily fund their own children...one LA tries to change this and there is uproar!!!

    Stories about Cms being unable to draw funding for their own grandchildren have been well documented in articles and blogs in the past...all of a sudden we are up in arms because of the one LA which was trying to stop nursery staff accessing funding for their children
    I also understand this has been reversed...quick action... as the outrage from providers and representing association was deafening.... but Cms are still denied access and who speaks on our behalf?

    The NWorld article needs to be read carefully...this is not new and looks like Pacey are well aware of what is happening.


    Are we missing the point of this?....it is another exclusion for CMs...plenty going on at the minute... and it continues to erode and undermine our profession.
    Maybe I am wrong....but I can see what is behind all this...can anyone else?
    Last edited by Simona; 07-04-2015 at 07:31 AM.

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    Simona Guest

  15. #12
    Simona Guest

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    I have received the following replies from Pacey on the issue of funding fro CMs' own children
    'yes be assured we will continue to raise & challenge this issue'

    And from PLA CEO...this is the statement that PLA has issued

    ''This clearly goes beyond the legal structure as childminders could simple form a separate limited company structure.

    We have spoken with DfE and their concern is one of potential ‘misuse’ of the system, i.e. parents being directly funded to care for their own children. They give no credit to the requirements imposed upon childminders before funding is granted and we have argued that this should be so.

    Interestingly, with Lancashire CC we resisted diving in until we had established the facts and released our statement after we had been in touch with both DfE and LCC. We were aware that the position at LCC was to be reversed and whilst this is of no conciliation to childminders, the principle of wanting to be in receipt of the evidence before constructing our position is one we would also want to apply in this instance. As such, we will be requesting written detailed confirmation from DfE as to the reasons prohibiting such funding''

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    "misuse of the system" - probably far less than letting parents control how much they claim for childcare through tax credits which is a complete farce!

    I understand that doctors aren't allowed to "treat" their own family, but how many other professions aren't allowed to use their profession for their own family - the plumber *****mind for services his own boiler, the mechanic I take my car to is allowed to MOT his own car?
    Last edited by hectors house; 10-04-2015 at 07:49 AM.

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    It would be interesting to know how many childminders and children this would affect.

    It's not as if every childminder has several of their own 3 and 4 year olds that they'd be claiming for.

    I can understand that the government is not going to pay a childminder for providing "childcare" for their own child, but in my LA the 15 hours are still called "free early education". As long as the childminder can prove they are providing the same education to their child or grandchild as they do to any other child, I don't see a problem with it.

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    It doesn't affect me - but it does affect colleagues - so I have written this letter (loosely based on my email to Neil Leitch) for the PLA magazine ... I hope I have covered all the points ...

    Lancashire Council recently wrote to nurseries informing them that if relatives worked in settings where children also attend they couldn’t draw the free early education funding. They quoted the Childcare Act 2006 which states in section 18 (4) 'Meaning of childcare' that “Childcare does not include care provided for a child by a) a parent or step-parent of the child ... and c) a relative of the child).” The Childcare Act goes on to say in paragraph 8 c) that a “relative, in relation to a child, means a grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister, whether of the full blood or half blood or by marriage or civil partnership.”

    This policy change was promptly retracted after an outcry from nursery providers and nursery representative organisations such as NDNA.

    A Department for Education spokesperson clarified their position, telling Nursery World magazine, ‘The Department is clear that funding for the free entitlements to early education for two-, three- and four-year-olds cannot be claimed by or spent on individual childminders providing childcare for related children, even if they are in receipt of funding for other children. However, it is not the Department’s intention that this should apply to children related to members of staff in group settings, such as pre-schools or nurseries.’

    Childminders have been refused free early education funding when they care for their own children or children of relatives for some time and are confused and outraged at this two-tier system. They are asking why we are treated differently - what about nurseries owned by parents of children who attend the setting or settings where parents and other relatives work alongside children from their family? We know some settings have a policy of not allowing parents to work in the same room as their own children but that’s not universal and room ratios will dictate staff move around frequently.

    Childminders feel it is very discriminatory to be denied the funding when we provide the same level of care and learning to children and are inspected by Ofsted and have to use the same framework as other providers. Very often childminders look after family members whose parents don’t want them to attend group settings – but are given little choice but to move them if they want to receive the free funded hours. What happened to continuity of care, fairness for parents and providers and policies made in the best interests of the children? It feels to us that because nurseries complained loudly policy makers capitulated.

    Childminders have asked PLA if this is an issue they can look into on our behalf because we feel very strongly that it should be the same policy for everyone – either we all get the funding or it is universally withdrawn. Thank you.

    On behalf of funded childminders

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  21. #16
    Simona Guest

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    I have corresponded with PLA on this issue and I know they are pondering this issue.

    The funding for cms' own children has been in the DfE Guidance for a while but re ignited by the recent issue with nurseries.

    It is worth looking at p26 under cms' section...of the Early Education and Childcare document
    The DfE states clearly

    'However a LA can choose to fund the parent providing childcare for their child but this would have to be from other LA funds'

    So we are back to LAs making their own decision...is there evidence that any of them have funded cms' own children?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    I have corresponded with PLA on this issue and I know they are pondering this issue.

    The funding for cms' own children has been in the DfE Guidance for a while but re ignited by the recent issue with nurseries.

    It is worth looking at p26 under cms' section...of the Early Education and Childcare document
    The DfE states clearly

    'However a LA can choose to fund the parent providing childcare for their child but this would have to be from other LA funds'

    So we are back to LAs making their own decision...is there evidence that any of them have funded cms' own children?
    A childminder I know did speak to LA about this but wasn't at all happy about their response. Apparently they checked all the providers in her area and said there were sufficient numbers of providers with a good or outstanding grade. Despite the childminder saying they were not the sort of provision she wanted.

  23. #18
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
    A childminder I know did speak to LA about this but wasn't at all happy about their response. Apparently they checked all the providers in her area and said there were sufficient numbers of providers with a good or outstanding grade. Despite the childminder saying they were not the sort of provision she wanted.
    The DfE has not added anymore on this issue ...I am told by PLA CEO they have repeated the 'same old message'.

    I am sure this will be a topic of discussion at the PLA AGM in June and I will surely raise and feedback to you.

    The answer given to that cm will soon have to be reviewed. With 'free' childcare being legislated at a fast pace and due to rise to 30 hrs LAs will have a real problem...I am sure this is not the last we hear of this topic.

    The issue is not one of sufficient numbers...it is one of equality so that CMs can claim for their children who they choose to educate at home....looks like to me that Nicky Morgan is the one to lobby as she is also minister for women and equalities.

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    Interestingly in Bristol you can claim for related children who don't live at same address as the childminder. But you cannot claim for your own children regardless of where they live.
    Which is the same criteria as claiming wtc.

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    I shall be watching this with interest as I have looked after my nephew since he was 5 months old. I'm registered to provide the funded hours and when he's 3 it would be awful to have to say sorry I can't provide the funded hours to you. Why should people lose out when they have decided to use family childminders?

 

 

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