Underfunding leaves childminders struggling

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30 free hours of childcare will be a struggle for most, and just one in ten childminders are planning on offering this to parents.

In a survey conducted by Nursery World’s Nursery Management supplement, childminders revealed the extent to which they are already suffering from underfunding, despite free hours still sitting at 15 hours.

This coincides with the 15% of nurseries who highlighted Free Entitlement funding as a key concern for them in Parenta’s National Childcare Survey.

84% of the childminders in Nursery World’s survey, said that offering funded places leaves them at a loss and unable to pay themselves the minimum wage for over 21’s.

Because of this short fall, 88% said they were unsure they would be taking on 3-4 year olds when the 30 free hours is introduced.

It has also been revealed by research from head teachers’ union NAHT, that most primary schools are already subsidising free nursery places from the rest of their budget, with the inherent fear that doubling these provisions will mean they will need to cut pupil numbers.

So with nurseries, childminders and schools all struggling with the funding of free entitlement how can the government believe this to be a sustainable plan?

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