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Code Of Practice For 15 Hour Flexible Provision Released


HappyMaz
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Courtesy of twitter, I see that the Government has today issued the guidance regarding how the 15 hour flexible entitlement should be delivered. I can't find it online, but perhaps at this stage it is only for LA eyes!

 

Anyway, I did track down the statement on the DCSF website which includes the following:-

 

For the first time ever, parents will be able to ask their local authority to find them free early learning and childcare provision at the time they want and which suits their needs. New statutory guidance is being published today for local authorities, to guarantee parents greater flexibility in how they take up the free entitlement to early learning and childcare for three- and four-year-olds.

 

And from 2012, parents will be able to spread their free entitlement, which increases to 15 hours a week in September, over a whole year. This will help parents balance childcare with employment or training, and will enable them to budget consistently across the year. Providers and local authorities will be required to consult and listen to parents in their areas about how they can go further to deliver free childcare even more flexibly in the future.

 

So we'll have a year to get used to offering 15 hours flexibly across the week, and then from 2010 we'll need to adopt a new model to enable parents to take their entitlement over the whole year. How will we plan that then?

 

No doubt you'll be along soon with your views... :o

 

Maz

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"2.12 The Department recognises that some providers are not able to be open for 15 hours a week or the full 38 weeks a year so may not be able to offer the full minimum free entitlement (for example, independent schools which are usually only open 34 weeks of the year, or a playgroup open only 12 hours a week due to shared premises). Local authorities should enable parents to choose a reduced entitlement at these providers if they wish and inform parents about the implications of doing so, in particular that, if the local authority has made the full entitlement available at a different provider, the local authority is not under any obligation to offer the rest of the child’s free entitlement elsewhere in these circumstances. However, local authorities should seek to broker local partnerships to enable parents to access their full entitlement, wherever possible."

 

 

Presumably this also means that we dont have to be open for 3 hours a session? I havent read it in detail though so could have missed something

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Presumably this also means that we dont have to be open for 3 hours a session? I havent read it in detail though so could have missed something

Yes, I think you're right to assume this. The last sentence suggests that if a setting cannot provide the 15 hours but the parent wants to take all their entitlement, the Local Authority should look at how settings can work together to provide the parent with the full entitlement across the week and over the 38 weeks. Not sure how this would work in practice, mind you.

 

Maz

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hmm think I'll be emailing that link to my headteacher! She'll be so thrilled - even though I knew it was coming I doubt she does!

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Guest jenpercy

Working together SOUNDS fair but it could mean parents migrating to another provider who does offer the full deal. Parents generally prefer their child to go to one setting after all. Also although in theory it is for working parents I would think thatmost parents would prefer to spread their care across the summer .

 

I am actually an After School Provider, but I shun any working together arrangements that could show that someone else has a better building etc than mine!!!

 

I was sent a link to a campaign site that you might find interesting.

 

www.saveournurseries.org

 

Jen

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"2.12 The Department recognises that some providers are not able to be open for 15 hours a week or the full 38 weeks a year so may not be able to offer the full minimum free entitlement (for example, independent schools which are usually only open 34 weeks of the year, or a playgroup open only 12 hours a week due to shared premises). Local authorities should enable parents to choose a reduced entitlement at these providers if they wish and inform parents about the implications of doing so, in particular that, if the local authority has made the full entitlement available at a different provider, the local authority is not under any obligation to offer the rest of the child’s free entitlement elsewhere in these circumstances. However, local authorities should seek to broker local partnerships to enable parents to access their full entitlement, wherever possible."

 

 

Presumably this also means that we dont have to be open for 3 hours a session? I havent read it in detail though so could have missed something

 

 

Reading that statement worries me a little...

perhaps it is the way I am interperting it but

 

it says that it is recognised we cannot all offer the 15 hrs

then parents may choose to take a reduced entitlement at these providers if they wish

 

OK so Far

 

Then LEA must inform parents of the implications if they do so.... which is

if the LEA has made the full entitlement available at a different provider, the local authority is not under any obligation to offer the rest of the child’s free entitlement elsewhere in these circumstances.

 

so could this mean funding may only be used in one setting.. and not more than one provider as it is at moment... ?

 

which could then be contradicted by the last sentence...

However, local authorities should seek to broker local partnerships to enable parents to access their full entitlement, wherever possible

 

Not clear or open to interpretation I feel..

 

Inge

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so could this mean funding may only be used in one setting.. and not more than one provider as it is at moment... ?

I think you're right Inge - I got the feeling that it meant that the LA would need to agree the arrangement before hand. I wondered whether this would be used as a very big stick by some LAs to steer the market in a certain direction, leading to a higher uptake in some groups than if parents were left to make their own decisions based solely on what is right for their child.

 

Or am I just being overly cynical today?

 

Maz

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Guest jenpercy
Why?

 

Maz

Ok not better building but I have stated that I didn't want a joint funday to take place at the setting down the road which has full size football pitches and to which we already lose some of our older children. (We don't have outdoor space)

Jen

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I think you're right Inge - I got the feeling that it meant that the LA would need to agree the arrangement before hand. I wondered whether this would be used as a very big stick by some LAs to steer the market in a certain direction, leading to a higher uptake in some groups than if parents were left to make their own decisions based solely on what is right for their child.

 

Or am I just being overly cynical today?

 

Maz

 

 

Maybe the government want/need their surestarts to be better used.

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Hi

Our chair is trying to work out arrangements with the nursery school that my pre-school is close to. He is trying to say that if they are unable to offer the full 15 hrs we will help them out by taking the rest ie 2.5 hrs. Not sure how this will work due to our very limited number of vacancies for certain sessions. However, if school extend their hours then it will effect our pick up and drop off times to them also. We currently escort children from nursery school to our lunch club and afternoon session at 11.20 and then escort some children from pre-school at 1.00pm to the afternoon session at nursery. If they alter their hours this will in effect alter our lunch club which currently runs 11.20 - 1.00 to fit in with them! Its a nightmare anyway covering this with staff lunch break also.

As yet the school still have not got back to our chair about this.

Not sure what is going to happen but you would have thought they should be organising it by now.

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