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Disgust At Funding Allocation!


sadiesmith
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Everything going well until Friday last. I own 2 nurseries in two different boroughs, both nurseries(private)doing really well . Numbers have picked up very well over last few months. One LEA paid the balance in February of the grant but other ALWAYS late. The Head of Early Years leaves the authority on Thursday and I receive a call from another private provider asking if I have received the funding due. The alarm bells started when he said there was going to be a shortfall in the amount allocated to the nurseries due to the increase in numbers of children going to private sector.

The amount we have received is £200 PER CHILD short. Is anyone else having problems? We are having a meeting tomorrow night to try and find a way forward. My parents and children have been robbed of their free entitlement. It equates to just over £2.00 per hour. I am disgusted. We have lost thousands of pounds. It has took me 2 days to be able to post.

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Oh my that is appaling surely there must be a way of appealing how can PVI settings maintain sustainability when curve balls like this are thrown in our way. Good luck with the fifgt and keep us posted on how you get on. I usually find the local MP can have a suprising effect on things along with local news

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That is terrible news sadiesmith. I sometimes wonder what local authorities will try next. The question that has to be asked is are they allowed to do that? Are you a memebr of the NDNA or do you know somebody who is? It might be worth giving them a call just to find out where you stand.

We are always having problems with our payments-the last one was three weeks late. Our forms for this next term arrived on the Monday and we finished on the Thursday for two weeks for Easter-they expected them back by the following Friday. Needless to say it hasn't happened as some of my children had finished for the holidays and I didn't have enough forms for parents.

I have to say that we haven't had anything this bad though. Good luck with it all.

Linda

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Going to ring them NDNA in the morning. Its interesting that we are supposed to work in partnership with local authorities but it works both ways. they have waited until the last possible day of the term and their year end and have said there is nothing we can do. Have to face the parents tomorrow but what do you say when they have taken up the free 12.5 hours. Cannot ask them for the £200 that we thought we were getting. If this happens in any other authority please let me know. I am in South Tyneside one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. A childs care and education does not seem to mean much to the council. Have contacted press by e mail yesterday and will try and get in touch with David Milliband tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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Have contacted press by e mail yesterday and will try and get in touch with David Milliband tomorrow. Wish me luck.

When things like this happen you have to resort to desperate measures: I hope they prove productive for you, Sadie. However it does sound very final doesn't it? Do you think this is down to financial mismanagement or is something else at work here?

 

I'm not sure I understand why more children going to the private sector should affect funding - unless it is because LEA groups are allocated funding which isn't based on the numbers of children attending. If this is the case then it is in the LEA's interests to reduce the numbers going to private and voluntary groups because it will obviously cost them less.

 

It does rather make a mockery of Every Child Matters, doesn't it: some children clearly matter more than others.

 

Let us know how things go - but all I can really offer is bags of sympathy.

 

Maz

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I just don't understand how they can get away with this....the free entitlement is enshrined in law, isn't it................so surely this means they HAVE to find your money for you?I'd definately call your MP and the CEO of your LEA should have some answers too.How can they tell parents they can't have their places, which is, in effect, what this would mean.Please keep us informed with how things go.Good luck xx

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Guest Wolfie

I've nothing to add to what other have said - just want to add my support and agree that you need to fight this all the way, making sure that as many people get to hear about it as possible. It's outrageous! How can they possibley expect PVIs to remain sustainable in the light of action such as this?

 

The very best of luck - please let us know what happens.

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They do seem to be able to act however they want dont they. I recall reading that the funding was payable but at a rate the LEA chose. This could be it, but I'll check what and where I read it.

I hope you get this sorted, try your MP too, my father-in-law's has just been very helpful (well it all counts at the next general election doesnt it?!)

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Nothing more to add but just wanted to add my voice to the support! I can imagine that this has been a dreadful blow to you. I know that here in Scotland each local authority decides the amount of funding available for each child but this is decided before the start of the academic year. We then both sign an agreement - they to pay the funding and us to provide an adequate level of care and education. I would imagine that this is legally binding - do you not have anything that is signed there?

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WHAT!!!!

oh Sadiesmith I would be hopping mad!!!!!

that makes me so angry.... the LEA dont realise what effect this will have,

 

yes the LEA can set their own amount but you have been told that set amount for the funding per session before the start of term, your parents have signed an agreement that they are entitled to FREE NURSERY PLACES not subsidised, where do the LEA think you are going to get the short fall of money from?

 

surely its breach of contract?

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I can't believe what has happened!!

 

Our LA writes to us at beginning of Financial Year and tells us how much we funding we will receive for the year per child. I am only assuming that this would be adhered too?! Nothing more to add, but wanted you to know I am thinking of you.

 

Hope that this meeting is able to resolve some of your issues!!

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That really takes the biscuit! Quite incredulous!

 

Down in Dorset people are up in arms about our head of the County Council receiveing a 10% pay rise giving him a salary in the region of £150,000 give or take I can't remember the exact figure. Hope they've left enough in the pot for us!

 

Good luck, hope you can get what is rightfully yours!

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Sadie, I've logged in quite late but just wanted to say I'm flabbergasted :o

 

I presume you were told by your LEA the unit fund per child per term for this year, are you saying they have now said they are reducing this amount for the year, or term? (Spring/Summer?)

 

Whichever, they are causing a shortfall of £200 per child. As said, funded places are "free at the point of delivery" as government keep spouting. How can your LEA justify changing the amounts expected / budgeted for?

 

As well as contacting your MP, I would suggest contacting DCFS, they are the ones who govern the LEA's.

Here are their contact details HERE

Tell them about the shortfall and the sustainability / cost implications caused by the shortfall and ask what recompense (if any) you can get, ask about LEA's responsibility for 'free at point of delivery" and acceptable notice to you as providers of actual monies LEA will pay etc.

 

Another avenue of support is the federation for small businesses, they could also act on your behalf, find their contact details HERE

 

I would also suggest that you insist that you talk to the head of your local Authority and ask him/her to justify this debacle to you, and to ask for reassurances (in writing) that it will never happen again, if they can. If they can't then get legal (solicitor - through NDNA membership) advice on how to deal with this issue now and in the future, should it occur again.

 

My true empathise for you. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all this beaurocratic (spl?) nonsense disappear for you.

 

Peggy

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That is truly shocking - but not really surprising the way that a lot of councils treat the vol/comm sector. Have you had a look if your LA has signed a COMPACT agreement?

 

This is an agreement between the government and the voluntary/community sector that sets out a fair way in which they can work together. One of the most important points is that issues regarding reductions in funding should be negotiated with 3 month's notice. The web site lists each LA that is signed up to compact.

 

I hope you find it of use - especially if this affects the whole PVI sector in your area, there should be strength in numbers if you all start speaking out (and getting your parents to do so too) - good luck with your battle.

 

 

The web page is here for more details:

 

http://www.thecompact.org.uk/

 

Regards

RR

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Thankyou for all your support that I have received and the suggestions that have been made. I am on the case!!!

The NDNA are in shock and have told us to bill the LEA for the shortfall and if they still do not cough up take them to court.

The Assistant Head of Finance of STMBC told two providers to "just bill the parents" Can you believe it? We have contacted the press and have asked for a meeting with the LEA. I would add that at 5/4/08 I still have not received the balance for the 12.5 hours I have provided free at the point at delivery for the 15 children we have claimed for. Every Child Matters - not if you live in South Tyneside. Have they even bothered to read the Code of Practice or do they know what it is? Will keep the FSF posted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to let everyone know what happened. We got in touch with the local press and wham bam got a letter apologising for breakdown in communications and the promise of another £120 per child for the funding. Although it is still short they have promised that numbers will not be capped in future and anyone wanting free education in the private sector may do so with full funding.

We could go on and on pressing for the shortfall but the LEA said that was the best they could do. I felt it took so much of my time in terms of energy and stress I could not go on trying to get more. I only hope we can get on better with them in the future as they have promised.

There is a survey on the NDNA website asking for views about the costing exercise so I would urge everyone to input. I still feel in the North East we do not get what we should do but know costs are higher down South.

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I'm sorry that you have been left in a position to feel you have to accept a compromise. I understand your need for closure due to the stress / time levels of dealing with this situation, but can I suggest that you just find the time to conact the press who ran/or were about to run a press article on this matter and let them know the response from your LEA. I don't think they should get away entirely free of 'stress' (caused through negative publicity about their financial incompetence) and think they should be publically (spl?) accountable for the 'compromising' position they have put you in.

 

Hold on to the first two sentences of your original post in all this, your two businesses are successful, well done you.

 

 

Peggy

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