Havering nurseries’ warning over free childcare plans
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Parents are at risk of paying higher fees to top up free childcare hours and may not be guaranteed spaces, nurseries have warned.
Free childcare is set to raise from 15 to 30 hours per week next year but nurseries say they may not be able to provide the service due to a funding shortfall.
Nursery leaders claim the money provided from government is not reflective of their actual costs adding that they already lose thousands of pound each year.
Denise Bailey, owner of Mary Poppins Day Nursery, Crow Lane, Rush Green, called the situation “unacceptable”.
She said: “The idea is brilliant, but doubling the entitlement will have a catastrophic effect on many settings.”
You may also want to watch:
The current rate paid by government, is £3.88 an hour. Councils keep eight per cent for administration costs and about £3.50 is passed to nurseries.
Lisa De Lucio, nursery manager at Oakfields Montessori Nursery, Heath Park Road, Gidea Park, said her nursery’s actual rate is £4.80 per hour.
- 1 Romford mum's success setting up children's clothing business amid pandemic
- 2 Plans submitted for Rainham Lidl
- 3 Four weeks' free parking for Havering shoppers as high streets reopen
- 4 Consultation begins on plans for multi-million pound health centre
- 5 Pictures: Remembering Prince Philip's visits to east London
- 6 Fundraiser launched for £1,500 to buy Elm Park defibrillator
- 7 Officers donate Easter eggs to hospitals
- 8 New Harrow Lodge Leisure Centre set to open
- 9 Havering pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- 10 Rainham school 'taking effective action' to improve after inadequate rating
“The scheme is fantastic for parents but the government should pay the correct money,” she said.
To recoup financial losses nurseries can either subsidise its costs or pass them onto parents.
Nursery leaders have also expressed concerns that they may not have the space to cater for the increase in hours.
Cllr Meg Davies, Havering Council’s cabinet member for children and learning, said there is flexibility for parents to use the 30 hours across more than one nursery.