The fact that 30 hours of free childcare is to be introduced for three and four-year-olds in September is fantastic news for both children and parents. This being said, I do have concerns that the plan has not been thoroughly thought out by the Government, and will leave child care facilities cash-strapped.
Many childcare providers are worried that they might not be able to stay viable under this scheme, as the funding they are already receiving is not enough. Daycares and nurseries are having to charge an inflated rate for additional services to make ends meet. This reality is the most likely reason the Government decided to remove the section that stated: “as long as parents are not required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up their child’s free entitlement place.” From their implementation guidance just a few short weeks before the plan goes into action.
I hope that the Government clarifies this scheme before its introduction so that both families and childcare providers benefit rather than suffer.