26 May 2015
Increased Funding for 3-5yr Olds
If the proposal below goes ahead, as a private provider you may decide to limit the number of totally free nursery places that you offer. If the children are purely funded they will access a limited number of hours a week and only for 38 weeks of the year. I know of one nursery where 80% of their children are purely funded. If you decide to do this then you will need some staff on a term time only contract, if not you may have to lay staff off in the school holidays!
As quoted in Nursery World (4th - 17th May 2015)
Politicians' promises to give parents more free childcare would leave the sector with a funding gap of hundreds of millions of pounds. Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said " The figures clearly illustrate that extending free entitlement schemes without addressing existing funding shortfalls is a recipe for total disaster. While these pledges are intending to increase childcare availability, they are likely to have the opposite effect, as providers who can not afford to plug the ever-widening funding gaps are likely to start to limit the number of "free places" they offer.
This exactly what we would would do if the number of hours increased to 30 a week.
We are very lucky ay Coneygarth Farm Day Nursery, Haxey as we have about three purely funded children, the rest attend all year round. However, at Flying Start Day Nursery, Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster we have 45- 50 purely funded children. Consequently we employ term-time only staff and some of the staff have to work at both settings to achieve their number of contracted hours.
David Cameron may increase the number of free hours from 15hrs to 30hrs per week.