UK's proposed 30-hour free childcare extension not plausible for service providers, according to survey
Apr 20, 2016 04:03 AM EDT
The government is planning on increasing the number of hours for free childcare to 30 hours. An estimated half of the early years providers are afraid of losing their business if the new government proposal pushes through.
According to the Nursery World, studies have found that the future of the 30-hour policy is in doubt. The majority of childcare providers are not sure if they will offer the proposed 30-hour care and even supposed of not offering it at all.
A survey suggests that out of the 1,500 childcare providers, only 30% agreed on following the proposal while 19% did not like the idea. Almost half of the respondents are still undecided on the issue. Six out of ten said that the new proposal will have a negative effect on their business as per The Guardian.
Daily Mail reports that the chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, Neil Leitch, said these figures are only a warning of what could happen if the government pushes through with the underfunded, under-resourced free service offer.
Leitch explained that the Department of Education thinks that everything will just fall into place regardless if the funding is available, but the government should not expect that these providers will sustain their service and risk their business. Leitch added that 98% of these providers only offer 15-hour childcare and only 30% agreed to deliver the 30-hour service.
The education department already received a warning from the National Audit Office regarding the planned extension. MPs on the public accounts committee are expected to raise their concerns regarding the possible impact of the policy.
A spokesperson for the department, however, said the average fund paid to providers has been added with £300m per year which serves 1.3 million children on a 15-hour service. The department reiterated that with the new plan, the take-up numbers will also rise.