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Consultation Launched On Free Early Education


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Consultation launched today

 

This consultation sets out proposals on the new entitlement for two year olds from September 2013, including which children will be eligible. It also includes proposals on the quality and flexibility of the entitlement for two, three and four year olds.

 

Press release

 

Consultation document

 

make sure you have your say

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We increasingly have parents who get themselves into a state trying to pay the fees because they really can't afford it but they want to send their children to do the best for them.

So basically, I am a bit hearbroken that it will not come in for such a long time and the parents we have now can't benefit from it.

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While I agree with this and my county is running the pilot and I am an outstanding setting so meet the criteria to do it I dont because I physically cannot accomodate two year olds for 15 sessions. they only come for one or two two hour sessions.

 

If they are willing to extend my building then I could offer this. Hope it does not get to a point where you have to offer it like when the 3 and 4 year old funding came into place.

 

buttercup

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While I agree with this and my county is running the pilot and I am an outstanding setting so meet the criteria to do it I don't because I physically cannot accommodate two year olds for 15 sessions. they only come for one or two two hour sessions.

 

If they are willing to extend my building then I could offer this. Hope it does not get to a point where you have to offer it like when the 3 and 4 year old funding came into place.

 

buttercup

 

Yes. you raise good points there. We too have been approached about taking funded two years olds, but to be honest like you we really do not want them (meant in the kindest way!!) We are a pack-away in one big hall, and whilst we can accommodate a few younger ones each session (2-3 sessions max) it would be a nightmare having more 'littlies' for 15 hours.

 

Sometimes I dispair of the 'advisors' that seem to think this would work well in a single (big) hall packaway.

 

.......Now if they were to fund a purpose build setting, I'd be more than happy to consider it!!!!!

 

xx

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Yes. you raise good points there. We too have been approached about taking funded two years olds, but to be honest like you we really do not want them (meant in the kindest way!!) We are a pack-away in one big hall, and whilst we can accommodate a few younger ones each session (2-3 sessions max) it would be a nightmare having more 'littlies' for 15 hours.

 

Sometimes I dispair of the 'advisors' that seem to think this would work well in a single (big) hall packaway.

 

.......Now if they were to fund a purpose build setting, I'd be more than happy to consider it!!!!!

 

xx

 

I work in one large hall (pack away setting) We have 16 children per session of which 4 are 2yr olds and it certainly works well for us. Some of 2's do all day. Just intrigued as to why you think the pack a way issue presents a problem?

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I work in one large hall (pack away setting) We have 16 children per session of which 4 are 2yr olds and it certainly works well for us. Some of 2's do all day. Just intrigued as to why you think the pack a way issue presents a problem?

 

Ahhh yes... that's the key- you have 4/16 two years olds.

 

As I've said we have limited numbers of 2 year olds- and yes it works well. Some do stay all day.

What I wouldn't be happy with is having a larger number of 2 year olds. We are in a big hall, and yes we do manage to clearly 'zone' and section of different areas, however partitions are only light plastic - so not particularly robust (fall over very easily)

Our main problem is we have to be packed away and out of the hall 15min after end of session. So hall has to be packed while children are still with us, and this is were we would struggle with to many very young children. We are not allowed to leave a single thing out, so all wall displays down too. By the end of the session it is just 'one big empty hall' (absolute heaven for running up and down when you are two years old :oxD:( ) We only do two full days 6.5 hours, + three 3hours mornings.

Also we have no designated outside area - just the public playing fields, so no free-flow whatsoever.

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OK! Rant Pants at the ready. This is purely opinion driven. Happy to be corrected but this is what I'm thinking...

 

This is not aimed at the type of parents who get themselves into a tizz trying to pay playgroup fees. I struggled to pay playgroup fees and only accessed two days for my children due to the expense, but there is no way we would have qualified for any type of funding.

 

This is about getting children with third rate parents, and desperate living circumstances, into settings where they're going to be stimulated to learn and to feel secure.

 

It's about giving long day care so that some of those parents can access (and be obliged to access) work or training and drag themselves out of the mire their lives have become or never been more than. Overcoming inertia for disenfranchised families.

 

I feel that 500 extra childcare places in my Borough can only be a good thing for my business even if I'm not providing the funded places myself, and that it might encourage me (and others like me) to become qualified to provide the service thus increasing the skills base in the industry.

 

So have I misinterpreted?

 

Honey

 

Edit: My husband has just read this and he thinks it's like taking Aboriginal children away from their families and putting them in 'nice white homes' in Australia in the middle of last century. Is it the thin end of the wedge with the state taking over parenting, or...not?

Edited by HoneyPancakes
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The parents I am thinking of already get free school dinners for their older children, so I think it will apply to them.

We are a small village without the same number of people and we are certainly not full so there is room for them and we are the cheapest childcare around here so if they can't afford us then they don't have any pther option.

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Certainly agree with you Honeypancakes - :o it is about getting those disadvantaged children into high quality childcare for a few hours per week - out of a long time spent at home to give them stability and loving stimulating care to improve thier outcomes for later on! xD

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Thanks for this. I've had a quick read and agree that it would help disadvantaged children so have no objections on that score.

 

However, the thought of 2 year olds being left from 7 am to 7 pm just horrifies me. Old fashioned, I know.

 

I couldn't find anything saying how much the funding would be either and as 2 year olds mean a ratio of 1 staff member to 4 children, they cost a lot more to look after. I've emailed them asking how much it will be!

 

We currently do take 2 year olds if they have reached 2 1/2 and we feel they can cope, but we would have to take a child who was just 2 and not ready in our eyes for our particular setting whether we wanted to or not.

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I do agree that those disadvantaged children need to go to a good pre-school and yes i would love to have them but really do not have the room to accomodate them for more hours. Our afternoons sessions consist of 3-4 yr olds staying all day approx 20 and 12-14 two year olds. It works really well. I am full till next september with 50 3-4 yr olds and 40 2-3 yr olds.

 

i cannot remember how much the funded two year olds get in our county who are pilots but it is more than the three year old funding.

 

buttercup

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I'm afraid I'm with Honey's husband. Who says they are disadvantaged? It's our social construct. I have this issue with traveller children. Who are we to say their way of life is wrong? I realise it's the law of the country that children are schooled but that doesn't make it RIGHT - IMO anyway :o

We take children from 2 years 9 months. Lots of these are really not ready to be part of a large group - we are a 56 place setting and it makes me sad that most of our littlies are actually from intelligent parents who may not be rich but are certainly not poor - they just want them in 'school' ASAP whether to go to work or to 'lunch' in some cases :D A few come to us through recommendations from HV or portage etc as they need the stability that a pre-school routine can give, especially if they are not getting it at home for whatever reason but mostly they are just little children that need more than a 1:4 ratio - again IMO.

Oh dear - I've had a bit of a drinka dn will probably regret this tomorrow!

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My county has piloted the 2 year old funding scheme and my setting has been part of it for the last 3 years and I absolutely know it has made a difference to the families who come to my setting, we limit the amount we take to ensure that we can keep ratios but so far it has not been a problem to accomodate them all up to now. The funding rate reflects the increase in ratios and is considerably higher than the 3 year old rate. My funded 2 year old have to meet quite strict criteria before accessing the funding and most already have social services/ medical intervention/ family support etc involved and are usually (without tarring them all with the same brush) of the group of parents labelled as 'hard to reach' so this funding provides a vital lifeline to engage these parents who might never have found their way to preschool. As for the 15 hours, as we speak I have yet to have a parent who wanted that many hours for their little ones, most take 6 or 9.

Edited by max321
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