Keep Early Years Education a Quality Experience
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As you will have heard the government have promised 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare to families from this September.*
What you may not have realised, is that what the government has promised, is unmanageable, unaffordable and unrealistic and is putting your nursery at significant risk.
Early years settings in BANES are to receive a base rate of £3.80 per hour, per child for the 30 hours a week that they attend across 38 weeks of the year. This rate is significantly LOWER than the hourly costs.
So what does that mean for you as parents?
It means that what sounds like an amazing option for families, is actually going to REDUCE THE QUALITY OF CARE AND EDUCATION THAT YOUR CHILD RECEIVES because:
- Nurseries are going to be forced to lower the standard of staffing, making cost savings by reducing the qualification of staff working alongside your child. Did you know that only 50% of staff actually need to be qualified??
- Settings will be forced to care for children at the legal 1:13 ratio instead of the usual 1:8 or 1:6 often adopted by quality providers.
- The opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as yoga, artists or forest school will be lost due to the additional cost to settings in providing these.
- Trips and outings will cease as settings will be forced to work at full ratio.
- The quality and choice of foods served will reduce as costs are sought to be reduced. Chefs working at our settings may not be replaced, leaving nursery staff to complete the cooking at the same time as caring at/managing the setting.
- Staff training will reduce to the minimum requirements of only first aid and safeguarding, leaving staff demoralised.
- Staff wages will be compromised leading to a possible higher turnover of staff caring for your child.
If like us these factors concern you, then please join us in calling the government to remove the word ‘free’.
We want parents to be supported in their childcare costs, but we don’t want it to be at the expense of children. By allowing settings to charge the shortfall in funding received against their usual rates, everyone benefits. Parents will still have a significantly reduced childcare bill. Settings will be able to continue to do what they do best; offer high quality early years experiences for children and families and the government will meet their aim of encouraging parents to work.
Please join us by signing our petition and show that as parents, carers, grandparents and practitioners what you want is QUALITY childcare.
*If meeting criteria of working and earning equivalent of 16 hours at NLW to £200k (both parents in a dual parent household) or £100k (one parent in a sole parent household)
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