Nurseries lobby MP over childcare plans

nadhim Zahawi MP with Winchcombe Farm Day Nursery owner Steve Taylor earlier this year

THE owner of a day nursery in Upper Tysoe, has presented a petition to Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi, calling for the government to rethink their plans on funding for the 30 hours free childcare.

The Childcare Act 2016 is delivering the government’s election manifesto commitment to giving families where parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours of free childcare for their three- and four-year olds.

Steve Taylor, managing director of Winchcombe Farm Day Nursery, in Shenington Road, collected almost 5,500 signatures from parents and fellow childcare professionals.

Those who signed the petition, support Mr Taylor’s idea to introduce a payment into parents’ Tax Free Childcare Accounts, rather than ’30 hours free childcare’, which is being introduced, in September.

The father-of-five, who opened Winchcombe Farm Day Nursery 13 years ago, said that the government’s flagship childcare policy is so “chronically underfunded” it is likely to put thousands of childcare providers out of business.

Linda Findon, chair of Cygnets Education and Childcare Trust, also accompanied Mr Taylor to the meeting with Nadhim.

Ms Findon explained that they too faced a difficult financial future as the current funding amount, is too little to cover the full cost of providing a place now and is being frozen until 2020, which will “worsen the situation every year”.

  • A M Lewis

    Excellent initiative – there are so many myths and lies around the funding because policymakers won’t admit there’s simply not enough money to fund this scheme properly and make sure that the people who work in the sector are even properly paid and rewarded for the work they do. At the moment there’s universal childcare – 15 hours for all children aged 3 and 4 years old – but even that’s not adequately funded. So how on earth childcare settings can be expected to magically double the amount of hours offered !! It is just crazy!! It makes no sense on any level whether we’re talking a) child development (15 hours at that age is enough) or b) meeting parents’ wishes (there’s no evidence to support the fact that both parents want to work full time when children are that young – the preferred model is being in some part time work when the time is right and children are ready) c) the myth that equality depends on more mothers of young children back in the paid workforce (surely equality has to account for children’s needs too?). There’s also the myth that the government wants to help those who need help the most (in that case why offer it to joint incomes of up to £200k?). Lots of primary caregivers with responsibilities at home aren’t earning enough money to even pay tax especially since the non taxable threshold went up – so it will cost the system more to fund alternative registered provision than to support a mum or dad to provide care at home for a few years. Which is what children really want – more time with the family.