With nine settings based in Sussex, Hampshire and South-east London, Early Years Childcare are concerned that free entitlement is under-funded and that parents are not aware of the challenges that it poses.
They’re looking for your support and feedback on how other nurseries are coping with implementing free entitlement and whether you believe parents are aware of the impact this has on their child’s setting.
Kate Peach, Managing Director of Early Years Childcare says, “Free entitlement can cause a significant shortfall between individual nursery providers’ costs and the hourly rate paid by the local authority. Additionally, the legislation prohibits high-quality providers, from being able to charge ‘top-up’ fees to meet costs”.
Many providers now find themselves having to make a choice between raising fees or making cutbacks such as decreasing staff to child ratios, avoiding buying new equipment, or cutting extra services like laundry, home cooked meals and provision of nappies.”
“We don’t feel that the Government is listening to the needs of nurseries. Before the election, the Conservative party indicated they would suspend the Code and allow top-ups to be charged, however this hasn’t happened. ”
If you wish to sign the petition and show your support, please visit the Early Years Childcare campaign petition website for parents and providers.
Early Years Childcare want to hear YOUR comments! How is your nursery coping now the code of practice has been implemented?
Is anyone concerned that parents are not aware of the impact this is having on their nursery? Please leave your comments below.
This initiative is all very laudible, but what did we expect – once John Majors nursery vouchers turned in Early Years Funding nurseries were always destined to be the poor relations of the state educational provision. Only a truely level playing field between nurseries and the state provision, and the same level of funding will get governments medling hands out out of the viability of what is after all privately run business providing generally a fantastic service for parents. This service has many facits, one of which (yes only one of which!!) is EYs education. All these facits need to be paid for correctly including the EYs education element.
The single funding formula could have been the answer, but I doubt it, given the amount of “consultation, manuals, guidelines, workshops etc etc” – lets just call it what it is “SMOKE AND MIRRORS”
I wish you all the best
Just to add to your comments, the free entitlement actually pushes up the fees the younger children and babies pay. In fact the younger childen in the end subsidise the older children. So if the government shouts from the rooftops that all three year olds get 15 hours free nursery school, they are economical with the truth, as the younger children will be paying for it. Also we are taking all the risk, i.e. fluctuating childrens numbers, and still having to pay staff etc. If you do not have babies in your nursery, you are then in trouble. Of course you could always ask for voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall between the grant and your hourly rate. I refuse to charge the 2 and a half year olds more, and we do not have babies. Also, we are working schoolterms only which means we can not charge the earth for time over and above 38 weeks. The added problem is also that the funding does not cover holiday pay. I am now obliged to pay 5 weeks holiday pay, the grant does not take into consideration that we need to pay staff these five weeks.
Im glad such a great nursery chain has made a stand, and hopefully this could eventually make a difference and extend the campaign onto the younger children too. Even though the government is doing a great job at providing the funding for 3-4 year olds on a part time placement setting, it could be improved to allow ALL children under 5 to have at least part time nursery placements available. It is unfair that the less fortunate children should miss out on quality early years education. I have heard already that it is planned to be extended, but this isn’t a fact, just something i read. Hopefully it will be true.
Congratulations to Early Years Childcare for starting a grass routes campaign to highlight the problems being faced by many hard working nurseries that are facing major financial problems due to the miserly amount the government and in turn the local authorities begrudgingly allocate to fund the free early years entitlement.
I support their campaign and have sign their petition found on the website as well as urging others to do the same.
The NDNA are running a campaign to get parents to write to their local MP to highlight their concerns over funding, members can find template letters on the NDNA website to download and give out to parents.
The greater profile that can be given to this problem will make politicians aware that when they say ‘free childcare’ it must be free to both families as well as the provider!
Give me a call 01628 476672
you could also send info to Steve Baker MP for High Wycombe who is speaking to education minister about this.
happy to help
Red Fox Day Nursery
I have consulted fully with my parents on the effects that the EYSFF will have on my setting, they are all appalled that the funding is so poor and they are willing to do all they can to ensure that the setting will survive, which could mean them accepting an increase in fees to supplement the lack of funding compared to fees previously charged. I don’t think many parents expect ‘school’ to be available to their three and four year olds but if they can receive funding to help offset the cost of childcare costs then my parents are happy to pay the extra.