Is our Government deaf? Are they not hearing what the sector is saying about childcare costs? Do they not realise its not ‘free’ – its provider subsidised childcare – and surely its not childcare – its education! We are judged and graded more highly on the learning we are providing to children, than we are on the care we are providing to them. Quality costs – there really is NO SUCH THING AS CHEAP CHILDCARE.
There is much talk about raising children out of poverty – well how about raising the early years sector out of poverty? Pay us a proper rate for the early years education we deliver day after day, week after week, allow us to pay our staff a decent rate – above even the living wage – and THEN we will show you how innovative we can be!
We are the most dedicated group of professionals to be doing what we are doing in the circumstances that we have to endure. Yet our voice still seems to be being ignored. Is the governments press release today (26th August) linked at all to the realisation that they have made a promise they can’t afford – or keep to? Why do they need to ‘challenge us’. We are here 51 weeks of the year providing, in many cases 52.5 hours per week of ‘childcare’ – there is NO challenge for us to provide 30 hours to eligible children – however there IS a challenge for the government to adequately fund it.
As my consultation response shows there is enough money in the system – but it is directed inequitably to all providers across the country. The governments press release states that 30 hours is worth £5000 – on my current funding rates it is worth just £4092.60 – give ME the £5000 (plus index-linked and Living Wage pro-rata raises) then I will show you how innovative I can be…
About the author: Tricia Wellings