April 20th, 2015 by Sarah Steel
There have been so many headlines over the last couple of weeks about what each political party is going to do for parents and children. The National Day Nurseries Association have done a great round up, so you can see what it might mean to you.
April 15th, 2015 by Sarah Steel
This week has seen the launch of all parties’ election manifestos and it’s been interesting to see how high up the list childcare has come for the 3 main parties. Yesterday, the Tories probably gave us the biggest surprise when they pledged to double free sessions for 3 and 4 year olds to offer 30 hours per week for ‘working families’. However, the devil will be in the detail – the current offer is universal, so not linked to whether you work or not. Will any extension be the same, or will it somehow be ‘means tested’. Will the funding mess be sorted out, as the current system is completely unsustainable – any increase in under-funded hours will undoubtedly see nursery closures.
This press release from the NDNA outlines the very real risks to the sector. The usual maxim seems to apply in this instance – they’re all as bad as each other!
June 11th, 2013 by Sarah Steel
Hooray! An article in the Independent today reports the finding of Professor Joshi at the University of London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies, who says that Studies of previous decades showed children’s literacy and numeracy levels were around 2 per cent lower when mothers worked. Read the rest of this entry »
March 18th, 2013 by Sarah Steel
I saw a few suggestions in the weekend press that the Government were going to make some concession for working parents, to help with the cost of childcare in this week’s budget. The main suggestion seems to be an increased tax break to pay for childcare, so presumably an extension of the current employer voucher scheme, but we will have to wait and see. The bad news is that it is unlikely to start until 2015, so not really something to get too excited about just yet! The consultation on ‘More Great Childcare’, the Government’s recent report on how they propose to relax ratios and increase qualifications in the sector closes at the end of this week, so we will have to wait for them to digest those (assuming, of course, they do actually read consultation responses) and then see what changes will be made.
Times are certainly tough for all families and we continue to help with advice on tax credits and employer vouchers wherever possible. The 3 and 4 year old funding is being accessed by nearly all families, and we are getting an increased number of 2 year olds applying for the funding, but at the moment they need to be referred by their Health Visitor or Children’s Centre. If you think you might qualify and would like more information, do ask any of our managers.
In the meantime, a little superhero to lighten the mood!