So 30 hours is here. Problematic at the very least, the scheme has been launched to a backdrop of technological, funding, and parent issues.
We’ve got all of the coverage on 30 hours and what it means for you, along with nine other big stories from the week. Including what Ofsted have to say about choosing childcare, the problem with make-believe play, and a free guide to childcare business grants.
All this news. Five minutes of your time. Let’s get started.
The fight against 30 hours
Deep breath. There’s a lot to sift through here.
30 hours ‘free’ childcare has officially come into usage, with nurseries calling the scheme ‘a policy in chaos’ on the first day. Nurseries have argued that the funding is inadequate, with many claiming they plan to limit the number of places and charge parents for extras. Major newspapers and publishers have reported claims that the scheme devalues nursery workers, that it is in disarray, and that ultimately the scheme is doomed.
++ The run up to the introduction has seen a big increase in the level of high profile coverage of the issue in the mainstream media. Here’s pieces from The Telegraph, The Sun, The Guardian, The Mirror, and Shadow Minister for Early Years Tracy Brabin writing in the Huffington Post.
++ A study of more than 1,400 nurseries conducted by the Pre-School Learning Alliance suggests that one in three childcare providers expect to be put out of business within a year.
++ A PACEY study has found that the majority of childminders will be offering the scheme, although many admit this is ‘under duress’ or ‘reluctantly’.
++ Still not feeling completely on top of the scheme? Download your free copy of our 30 hours funding bible for expert advice and a breakdown of the government guidance.
The Ofsted Guide to Choosing Childcare
Ofsted have released a guide to parents advising them on the how to find the best childcare in their area. Why does this matter to you? Well, trying to understand how parents are choosing childcare, and what Ofsted see as the best way to find it, are invaluable resources for making business decisions about your own setting.
IT Skills – Inadequate
After thousands of parents were still unable to access both 30 hours funding and tax-free childcare due to technical issues, a probe has been launched to understand what caused the issues that have plagued the system for months. Parents can claim their fees back if they were eligible for the schemes and were unable to access the website due to technical problems.
Does Resilience Matter?
An Ofsted chief has warned that our children are facing a lack of resilience and grit because of overly precautious health and safety rules. Sending children out in hi-vis vests “like troupes of mini-construction workers minus the hard hats,” she says, “deprives children of rewarding experiences, of the opportunity to develop resilience and grit, which makes it hard for them to cope with normal everyday risk.”
Free guide to childcare business grants
We also like to take a moment each month to share with you some of the great stuff we’ve created just for providers like you. This time around, we’ve put together a free guide to providers looking for funding and business grants. We’ve detailed the best grants for different types of settings and how to apply, alongside expert advice on how to successfully apply for grant money. Find funding. Make a difference..
Childcare causing most arguments
Childcare is the main cause of arguments for British couples according to a new study, with one in five admitting that arranging it has a negative impact on their relationship. Could this be an opportunity to show how you can make the process more smooth and easy for the parents in your area?
++ It has emerged this week that three in ten of the most disadvantaged children in the UK are still not getting the funded places that were created for them. And Nick Clegg lays the blame firmly at David Cameron’s feet.
One of the UK’s largest providers of training for apprentices has been stripped of its government funding and removed from the Register of Apprenticeship & Training Providers. This came after an Ofsted report was released stating that ‘Not enough learners and apprentices achieve their qualifications and develop the skills to enable them to progress at work.’
Roundup of childcare business news
++ Busy Bees carry on their forward march, with the acquisition of the six-setting Bramleys Nurseries, adding 351 childcare places to their business.
++ Just Childcare have taken on their 33rd setting, now boasting over 2,300 childcare places in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, and Lancashire.
++ A new Childminding booking serviceIn other news..
++Busy Bees Nurseries have raised over £14,000 for Meninginits Now, with their World Waddle Toddle initiative.
++ Co-working spaces and nurseries? How do they really work?
++ What will a generation of kids that grow up with Voice Assistants like Alexa actually look like?
++ Long waiting list at your setting? How about parents queuing up around the block to secure a place?
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