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Return Of The Milk Snatcher?


HappyMaz
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I just heard on News 24 that the Government are proposing to end the scheme to give free milk to children under five. Apparently it costs £50 million a year and if the plan goes ahead, this will stop next year.

 

The idea is that the universal offer will be replaced with a voucher targetted at the less wealthy families which they could then use to buy fruit and veg or milk for their children.

 

Just thought I'd share!

 

Maz

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Not unexpected though. I wonder what's next.

It never occurred to me that they'd cut free milk for under fives, I have to say! As for what's next, I can't imagine. I wonder if two year old funding will be extended next year? The LibDems were all in favour I seem to remember...

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My gut feeling is that they'll keep extending funding which they see as getting parents into work.

 

I'm expecting things like free school meals, prescription costs, child benefit,... to be cut. I think the first will be the payment pregnant women get to help with baby equipment. Not sure what it's called but I wouldn't be surprised if it's been identified already.

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Feels like we're holding our breath waiting to see what's next!

Problem is tho' although subsidisies are cut parents will still expect the same delivery to children (i.e. milk at breakfast and snack times) this will have to be paid for somewhere. Fees will rise slightly. If child benefit is trimmed, if the salary sacrifice scheme is trimmed, if tax credits are trimmed etc etc the actual cost for parents will be much higher and parents may not be able to afford childcare which will put private providers at risk. worrying times

 

pw1

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My gut feeling is that they'll keep extending funding which they see as getting parents into work.

 

I'm expecting things like free school meals, prescription costs, child benefit,... to be cut. I think the first will be the payment pregnant women get to help with baby equipment. Not sure what it's called but I wouldn't be surprised if it's been identified already.

 

Yup the Health in Pregnancy Grant is being withdrawn from January, as are changes to the child trust fund doo-dahs - can't remember if they're being completely withdrawn or only the first payment is being given. All I do know is that I will still be eligable for them as the baby is due before January (- a scary 13 weeks away to be exact!!!)

 

Wonder if the government will scrap the fruit scheme too - or is that an EU thing?

 

 

A very pregnant Lucyhobbit!

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I think the fruit scheme is paid for by the National Lottery, or it used to be, and not everyone gets that.

 

I hate the principle of taking milk away from the under-fives but I do have some reservations.

I really hate to see milk wasted and see so much wastage where children take the milk, take a sip and then the rest is thrown away. Sometimes whole cartons go in the bin. I've seen this happen in many places both in schools and nurseries. I get a bit wound up about it when I think how precious that carton of milk would be elsewhere in the world! Also many children wont touch it at all so it isn't helping them, they need to get their calcium another way. I wonder if it was paid for directly in some way then it might be valued more.

 

Just checked and the fruit scheme is paid for by the Dept. of Health now ..oh dear.

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I was thinking much as Chill... where do they make the cuts?

 

I do however feel the free milk is one which could be addressed / adapted to ensure there is little or no wastage. As Jaquie has said so much of it does get wasted but is being paid for...

 

I used to have to submit a form for how much we used, it was never checked in 10 years and while I was honest and only claimed for the milk I bought, I do know of many places where they just claimed for every child each day even if they didn't have milk, or were not buying it in the quantities needed. so while they were buying 3 pints a day would actually be claiming for 6 or more... so they were getting income from it and it was not actually for buying any milk.

 

Perhaps insisting receipts were sent as well to cover the cost claimed would solve the problem.. but then who would be there to check them.. would this just add extra cost at a different level?

 

But on other grants and child trust funds etc.. I do feel these are ones which can be reduced/removed.... we all managed very well without them, isn't this what child benefit was for? It is time for a rethink.. and wonder if this had been done in the past would it have helped? ( ready to be shot down here)

 

There is no easy answer, cuts will be made, many of which will go unnoticed to anyone other than those who use them.

 

I do wonder how it will all fit into place if the charge for milk cannot be passed onto parents, because of the rules we are all set about charging for a free place... I did check and here it is still nothing at all for things during the free entitlement.. we did the voluntary donation of fruit, and if they give the vouchers to parents would they be able to pass it onto the setting to allow them to use them... I had a parent once who had milk vouchers but medically her children were not allowed milk ( work that one out), she used to give them to us and we used them for our milk... would it work?

 

Inge

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I hate the principle of taking milk away from the under-fives but I do have some reservations.

I really hate to see milk wasted and see so much wastage where children take the milk, take a sip and then the rest is thrown away. Sometimes whole cartons go in the bin. I've seen this happen in many places both in schools and nurseries. I get a bit wound up about it when I think how precious that carton of milk would be elsewhere in the world! Also many children wont touch it at all so it isn't helping them, they need to get their calcium another way. I wonder if it was paid for directly in some way then it might be valued more.

 

I'm afraid I have to agree here. I am sure I/we are not the only setting that finds it easier to have allocated milk delivered, this however means 95% of the time we have far to much - Ours comes in large bottles rather than cartons and the result is.............. staff end up taking it home!!!!

At a time were one LA announced it saved 41k simply by stopping supplying water for staff (coolers and bottled at meetings) it's not surprising free milk for children is going to be earmarked as savings.

 

I'm not necessarily agreeing it's a good idea - but when you work in a reasonably affluent area it is easy to see that somehow (and I haven't a clue how!) we need to work out a fairly system so that the vulnerable groups can received more help when needed.

 

Have to say most of out parents see the extra 2.5 free hours as more time for 'coffee shop and gym' than helping them get back to work!!!

 

I also have to say (shock horror) that I do try to 'dissuade' parents from taking full 15 hours so it can be shared more equally ..........although if I know parents are working and genuinely need the 'care element' rather than 'me time' that's different. But again this very much depends on the area in which you are situated.

 

What I find really frustrating is that as a setting we have to work at a loss - low staff wages etc- for many parents that can clearly (and were happy to) pay more! The only bonuses in our setting it that every so often the staff get a free bottle of milk!!!!

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We moved from having the Cool Milk company deliver us bottles to the cartons, and we had wastage with both, as the children poured their own milk from a jug and would frequently fill their cups up, despite the adult reminding to only take a little and can always get some more. They would insist they were going to drink it all, and only have a sip. Equally it is heartbreaking both in school and preschool when they have 1 sip from the carton and then leave it too. As a previous poster has said, parents will still expect them to be offered milk (and I think so they should) but it will have to be paid for (and if we can't charge at all for free provision) and I wonder how we will be able to do this.....

 

Shame, but I can understand too why they are doing it

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I don't do the Cool Milk scheme, I still send in a form every few months for reimbursement, like Inge I only claim for those children who have attended rather than how many children are supposed to attend each day. I put any extra money from the scheme into the fruit we buy for the snack time.

 

I have to say that we haven't allowed the children to pour their own milk, they may pour as much water as they wish and we have water jugs on the tables, but staff take the bottle of milk round at snack time and serve it, we don't have a great deal of waste.

 

It would be a great shame to get rid of under 5's milk - Labour were obviously "all for the family" as Gordon Brown tried to prove time and time again with his schemes, and whilst it is a great and good vision - the country could not afford it - now we must pay that price and families will be among the first ones perhaps to begin to feel the pinch!

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I'm afraid i have to say that losing the free milk, certainly in our area, won't have a detrimental affect on our children. I'm from an era where we got free orange juice, and rose-hip syrup, as well as school milk, because we were the first generation of post-war babies and it was felt babies and small children needed those extras. We don't still issue orange juice or rosehip syrup and no-one would suggest that's a bad thing? I think giving it to those most in need, through a voucher scheme, is probably the best way to go. I used to have milk vouchers many years ago when we were on a very low income and it was helpful. I wonder, if children aren't drinking the milk ( so staff end up taking it home), or are only drinking a sip or two and the rest is thrown away, how it really benefits them anyway?We offer milk and water, and many of our children would prefer the water.We do provide cheese and fruit at snack time too and don't charge parents extra for that.

It's hard and there have to be cuts across the board, so where else can those savings be made? Whatever they cut, affects someone, somewhere, to a greater or lesser degree, surely?

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According to bbc website cameron says it won't happen - storm in a teacup maybe (with milk or lemon :o ) - on a more serious not maybe it was a smoke screen for an even more controversial cut or cuts!

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I was going to read and run.. but can't!

 

I know this may not be happening, or at least not in the near future as the government sort out their communication issues but probably will happen next year when the press dies down.

 

I just want to say though that I think free milk really does help children especially in reception classes as well as nurseries. It pushes to the forefront the idea of healthy drinks, making sensible choices for a drink, getting calcium into the system. We only claim for the children on roll and our milk comes in child sized plastic bottles that we recycle afterwards. So many parents say "oh my child won't drink milk" but in a setting where their friends drink it and we don't have a range of fruit shoot type things on offer the milk is gratefully drunk.

 

As to where to make cuts? Perhaps an area that doesn't affect the children who have no say in whom governs them? Call me an old fashioned idealist but leave children and education alone and perhaps look closer to home at the materialist things in their budget?

 

Okay rant over :o

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I have to say that we are guilty of throwing away huge quantities of milk each week because children have a few sips and bin the carton and I'm not sure how to stop it other than to insist children drink it all if the choose milk. We are seeing lots of children who won't drink milk or water ... goodness knows what they drink at home.

We see lots of children do the same with fruit ... one bite and drop the rest in the bin.

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As somebody whose setting only provide milk or water for the children even without the subsidy I would continue to do this . As for the waste we have the large 4 pint milk from the supermarket - it gets decanted into a jug for snack and rarely is there any waste.

 

People who have the small individual cartons - can you not snip the top off and share a carton between two - you would need cups but disposable cups are pretty cheap . That way any unopened cartons could be saved for the next day ( assuming you have a fridge ) or used to make smoothies/milky puddings/milk jelly etc or even taken home by staff rather than wasted? :o

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As for the wasted fruit thing

 

We see lots of children do the same with fruit ... one bite and drop the rest in the bin.

( Marions post)

 

can you not cut the fruit up - or get the children to do it - a selection of fruit cut up tend to go down better than whole items, and if they do decide not to eat something it's a portion rather than a whole apple/banana. :o

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As for the wasted fruit thing

 

We see lots of children do the same with fruit ... one bite and drop the rest in the bin.

( Marions post)

 

can you not cut the fruit up - or get the children to do it - a selection of fruit cut up tend to go down better than whole items, and if they do decide not to eat something it's a portion rather than a whole apple/banana. :o

 

 

The fruit is cut up if it is something large like an apple or pear but some children still waste it even if it is something small like strawberries or grapes they bite into them then throw it away (and when I say bite I don't mean they take a bite rather they sink their teeth into so it's marked then discard)

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As somebody whose setting only provide milk or water for the children even without the subsidy I would continue to do this . As for the waste we have the large 4 pint milk from the supermarket - it gets decanted into a jug for snack and rarely is there any waste.

 

People who have the small individual cartons - can you not snip the top off and share a carton between two - you would need cups but disposable cups are pretty cheap . That way any unopened cartons could be saved for the next day ( assuming you have a fridge ) or used to make smoothies/milky puddings/milk jelly etc or even taken home by staff rather than wasted? xD

 

Our milk usually comes in individual bottles occasionally it arrives in large bottles which we have to pour into cups even then the children take a sip from then pour most into a bucket

 

 

disposable cups we would need to buy 112 each day :o 560 a week?

 

and it doesn't get away from the fact that most children don't drink their milk I'm afraid

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Thats a shame , wonder why the children do that , is it possibly because they want to try the different fruits as they may not have them at home , but realise after sinking thier teeth that it#s not a taste they like ?

 

My lot can't get enough of it they generally are pretty good at not wasting stuff, and if we know they have taken an item and wasted it previously then they are reminded of this if they choose the item again. The other week we had some more exotic fruits ( we were focussing on Handas Surprise as our book for the month) and I was really impressed that most of our children ate things like kumquats and also tried dragon fruit /star fruit and passion fruit and enjoyed it. :o

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Hi we still have what many will now say is old fashioned the fantastic milkman who never lets us down. We claim for the children actually in attendance and i would be disgusted if they take this away. We presently have never charged for our snack but with ever increasing costs and less funding coming to pre-schools from Sept, but also being aware that we have been told we cannot charge even if we wanted to, unless people brought their own snack in or generously gave voluntary donations i'm not sure how long we would be able to give the children the variety of fresh fruit / vegetables, drinks as we presently do.

Oh well sign of the times and i think we shall have to be more creative with the money not the art. Ha Ha! xD:o:(

Edited by bridger
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Well I did chuckle when I heard the news announcer on the radio say that David Cameron had no idea this had been suggested, and didn't much like the idea!

 

Makes you wonder if anyone knows what is going on really.

 

Maz

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Thats a shame , wonder why the children do that , is it possibly because they want to try the different fruits as they may not have them at home , but realise after sinking thier teeth that it#s not a taste they like ?

 

My lot can't get enough of it they generally are pretty good at not wasting stuff, and if we know they have taken an item and wasted it previously then they are reminded of this if they choose the item again. The other week we had some more exotic fruits ( we were focussing on Handas Surprise as our book for the month) and I was really impressed that most of our children ate things like kumquats and also tried dragon fruit /star fruit and passion fruit and enjoyed it. :o

 

I don't know why they do it because it's the more common fruit and veg that's wasted most. We often have "tasting" sessions with new foods to introduce different foods and these always go down really well with the same children who waste milk and fruit on a daily basis. It's as if the "free" milk and fruit don't matter in the same way food in a lesson does

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Well I did chuckle when I heard the news announcer on the radio say that David Cameron had no idea this had been suggested, and didn't much like the idea!

 

Makes you wonder if anyone knows what is going on really.

 

Maz

 

Another 'leak' as the information came from a letter from one minister to another testing the water. Hmmmm!

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I don't know why they do it because it's the more common fruit and veg that's wasted most. We often have "tasting" sessions with new foods to introduce different foods and these always go down really well with the same children who waste milk and fruit on a daily basis. It's as if the "free" milk and fruit don't matter in the same way food in a lesson does

 

 

This might be controversial but I've always insisted that if the children take the milk then they drink most of it. Children who took only a sip and then discarded on a regular basis it would be warned, and then not allowed to take milk again if they continued (if parents were paying for it I would obviously be advising the parents that they might want to stop as their child wasn’t drinking it). I think it's very important that we teach children life lessons such as not wasting food and not taking something you don't really want.

 

I'm less strict about fruit if I feel that the child is 'having a try' but again a child who was regularly taking only a bite and blatantly wasting it would be warned and then I’d keep track of what they were taking and make sure they ate it or didn’t take that type of fruit again.

 

There's so much stuff about children having the choice and these things being accessible to children that I think sometimes we can forget that the idea of not being wasteful is something we all need to learn and is a very important life skill. Most children when warned will either start consuming the whole thing or will stop taking it altogether so actually this isn’t as draconian as it sounds!

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