There have been continued issues with the need for providers to remain sustainable in light of the upcoming 30 hours funding in England. Issues include:
- Confusion with parents over the use of 'free' in the policy title of 30 hours childcare
- Need for further business support for early years practitioners
- Advice on charging for extras on top of the funding rate of 15 and 30 hours childcare.
PACEY’s Director of Partnerships, Sue McVay comments:
“It is a worrying time for nurseries and other childcare providers. With 40% of providers in the pilots reporting a decrease in profits, and the funding rate not covering the cost of providing care in some areas, there are significant challenges to implementing the 30 hours policy. Some implementation challenges are caused by the continued use of the term 'free' when referring to the policy of 30 hours childcare and some questionable advice given by local authorities on charging for extras in areas where the funding rate does not cover all a provider's actual costs.
It is clear that providers need to consider their business sustainability and we would encourage providers to think creatively how to achieve this. We have recently launched a new Business Smart toolkit to help early years’ practitioners build their business skills and confidence. However, providing childcare of the highest possible quality has to be at the heart of any business model. Placing a further burden on providers by asking them to take on additional services such as ironing and cleaning is simply not reasonable. The sector needs to be supported with a sustainable long-term funding plan for all funded places, including 30 hours.“
Full FAQs on 30 hours for practitioners and parents are available for free including clarification on charging for extras, as well as our 30 hours in 30 seconds videos.
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