Increased concerns over FE according to the PSLA.

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A poll by the Pre-School Learning Alliance reveals a significant increase in the number of nurseries and childminders that believe they do not get enough Free Entitlement Contributions to meet the cost of provision.

A recent poll by the Pre-School Learning Alliance has revealed increased concerns over the provision of Free Entitlement provision.Child benefits system Just one in 10 of the 550 providers questioned said that they receive adequate funding to cover the cost of providing free childcare places under the Government’s free early years entitlement scheme.  The Alliance said this was a “significant decline” from their last poll in May, when more than a third (38%) thought they got sufficient funding.

The poll also found that the majority of childminders and nurseries polled said that they do not think they would be able to offer the same level of service if ministers consider changing staff to children ratios as a means of cutting the cost of childcare for parents.

A large 94% of providers felt that they could not maintain their current quality of service if current staffing levels were reduced.

The Alliance said it had commissioned the survey to help inform its response to the Childcare Commission, which launched a consultation in the summer on how to improve the accessibility and affordability of childcare.

Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said: “There is a glaring omission at the heart of the Childcare Commission consultation – the failure to consult on the level of funding of the free early years entitlement. By not addressing this fundamental issue, the Government continues to put the emphasis on making up the shortfall on parents and providers, even though earlier this year the National Audit Office highlighted that early years funding should be reviewed.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Rising childcare costs are a huge issue for parents. It is clear the current system needs big improvements. We have set up the Childcare Commission to examine in detail what reforms need to be made. We are listening very closely to front-line professionals and to parents.”

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3 thoughts on “Increased concerns over FE according to the PSLA.

  • October 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm
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    I totally agree with Angies comment. We hear about the cost to parents, I wish someone would put our side as a childcare provider. The government says they want to give parental choice, of good quality education and well qualified experienced staff soon there will not be choices as most setting will have had to close or the quality of care and activities on offer will certainly be reduced.

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  • October 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm
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    I couldn’t agree more with the comments made by Angie. In my area we are being encouraged to sign up to take on 2 year old funding. When I asked at a meeting if the grant will be significantly higher for the 2 year old, the response was yes it will be more. I discovered later that it would only be approximately 50 pence more. This is ridiculous considering the staff:child ratio is double for the 2 year old. Needless to say I have refused!

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  • October 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm
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    I totally agree with the Alliance chief. There is always talk off the cost to parents and rising childcare costs.

    The cost of providing high quality childcare is ever rising; rents staffing costs, renewing resources and soon the extra burden of the employers having to provide a pension schemes to their employees.

    I am a private provider and am finding it really difficult to manage with the free entitlement and the level of funding we receive from the LA. The rate of funding has not increased for 3 years but my costs have.

    In our borough, we feel that the allocation of funding for early years is what is left after everything else has been taken into account.

    Government is promoting this free entitlement with which I do agree with, helping parents with cost of nursery education, however, it should not be at the cost of the provider, we have all taken risks with starting up our own business to supply a service that our LA cannot, there are only 6 maintained settings and around 169 private.

    When I fist started the pre-school, parents were in receipt of what was called nursery funding, an amount to offset against nursery provision of their choice, then the Labour Government high-jacked it and suddenly we are left with a free entitlement.

    The Government really does need to take this issue on board, otherwise there may not be many private providers left, which will only effect the very same people it claims to help. The Children.

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