And how many providers do you think registered to become an Early Implementer for the 30 hours? Well, as a registered ‘early implementer’ I received my communication today on what to do next, along with the other 1760 providers that are listed. There were also details of the 96 Local authorities who registered.
Anyway, do not be concerned that you did not register – it seems if your LA is registered and they are successful in their bidding application to undertake a trial – then you can take part whether you registered originally or not. You will need to work with them in an innovative way, as they are charged with sourcing these 30 hours ‘free of charge’. So why, I ask, did they make us providers sign up – what a pointless exercise that was – especially as the new application form clearly states you have to be an LA to apply! Talk about giving us lip service to being involved in the process…
So it seems eligibility for this 30 hours is becoming a bit flaky too. A lone parent (who can be self-employed) needs to earn the equivalent of 8 hours at minimum wage to qualify. So that will be £57.60 by September 2016 when the trial starts. According to the government the 30 hours are worth £5000 to parents (but not to us – yet?) that’s around £131.58 per week – how do they work out the maths on that then I wonder!! Or are they just trying to increase their ‘employment figures’ disguised through this benefit for ‘hard-working’ parents
Whilst the government re-iterate that they are ‘committed to increase the rate paid to providers for the delivery of the entitlement’ the caveat to this is that it must be ‘ fair to providers and value for money to the tax payer’ which gives them scope for anything.
Conveniently, applications from LA’s must be submitted by 20th November, by which time I suspect no announcement on funding rates will have been made and we are all expected to show our ‘innovation’ without knowing what it will cost us.
So what will you do?
About the author: Tricia Wellings
Her passion for and knowledge of owning and running a nursery group and the issues within the sector that affect them is second to none. She continues to keep herself updated through regular meetings with PVI groups, Local Authorities, Ofsted Big Conversation and Conferences.
You can find our more about Tricia on her website www.triciawellings.co.uk