E Glegg - Early Years Provider STOPS offering funded hours
19th November 2022
I've temporarily stopped taking 3year olds.
A few years ago I re-wrote our contract and changed it from we guarantee the space up until your child goes to school, to we guarantee the space up until the term after your child turns 3.
This September I then made the decision to stop the 15/30 hours. Parents were very understanding of the reasons. I say to new ones that a lot of people choose to go to pre-schools attached to the school they'd like (I kinda sell them the idea).
I've now filled their places. Took a month or so, but as nurseries are struggling to find staff as people are leaving the sector, nursery places are becoming fewer, so I found no problem in getting new families in.
I haven't said "never ever" again to the 15/30 hours. The door is open. But, if it continues like it is so far, I have no reason to want to.
No more head counts, filling in forms for the council etc. No more dictating how I do the hours, no more worrying about families choosing not to pay a "voluntary excess" to top up the loss.
The only way I'll reintroduce at the moment is if there is a total overhaul on the funding. I'd like to see it being paid into a scheme like the tax free childcare. Then the council have nothing to do with it, aren't able to take a top slice etc and the money comes directly to the setting. That money goes TOWARDS fees and the parents then pay the remainder.
So far, so good .
If enough nurseries do it, then the government will be forced to make changes.