In the wake of the findings from the Pre-school Learning Alliance’s survey, education secretary Damian Hinds has, this weekend, insisted that nursery schools have enough funds to deliver the 30-hour scheme.

According to the survey, 42% of providers said there is a chance they will have to close their setting in the next academic year due to the 30 hours and/or underfunding. Hinds stated that his officials would keep the costs that nurseries face under review, but for now the funding levels for the scheme were fixed. He said: “We do, and need to, pay close attention to the cost structures of early years provision … We’ve been through these important questions before and we’re going through them again. Of course we keep looking at them.  “The funding levels are set at the level which we have come to, looking at figures put together on what the cost levels are to make sure that providers are able to provide places.”

Whilst the flagship childcare policy, introduced last year, has provided a boost to many working families, it has come under severe criticism from the sector as the scheme does not cover delivery costs in full for many childcare providers. As a result, an increasing number of settings have had to close over the past year, citing the costs of delivering the scheme as the reason. 

Allan Presland, CEO of Parenta, said:

“The minister's view on the state of the childcare market following the introduction of the 30 hours funding is fundamentally wrong, and shows disdain for hard working nursery owners whose livelihoods are threatened.

“Before the introduction of the second 15 hours, half of all nurseries in England were not making a profit; adding more hours at below cost can only lead to more nursery closures.

“I would urge the minister to listen to the feedback he is receiving from the sector and especially the Champagne Nurseries pressure group who represent 21,000 early years professionals. Failure to do so can only lead to more closures and higher prices for parents; the exact opposite of what was intended.”

The Pre-school Learning Alliance’s survey, which was conducted between July and August this year, collected responses from 1,662 childminders, nurseries and preschools in England. It found that:

-       8 out of 10 providers said that if the funding rate stays the same next year, it will have a negative effect on them

-       48% of settings have increased parent fees as a result of offering the 30 hours

-       1 in 5 providers have plans to introduce additional charges to parents

-       42% of settings have introduced or increased charges for additional goods or services

-       A third plan to increase their fees for non-funded hours over the next year

Chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, Neil Leitch said the findings confirmed that the 30-hour scheme would not be sustainable for providers in the long term. He said: “We have long warned that without significant increases in funding, settings offering the 30 hours would be at risk of closure.

“Even those providers who are technically managing to make the 30 hours work are often only able to do so by introducing or increasing additional fees and charges. Is this what the Government meant when they promised parents 30 hours of ‘free childcare’? While better off parents may be able to shoulder these unexpected costs in the short-term, those on the lower end of the income scale – the families that the Government claims to be so committed to supporting – are the ones who are likely to suffer as a result. 

“Worse still, things are only going to get more difficult, with early years funding levels frozen until 2020 despite the fact that provider business costs like wages, mortgages and rents will inevitably rise over this time.

“The inescapable fact is that, as these figures show, without urgent action, the 30 hours policy is simply not viable in the long term.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page