30-hours free childcare

With the Government’s new childcare scheme coming into force in England today, a third of nurseries fear closing due to the increase in financial pressures.

The new scheme allows three and four year olds to be offered 30 free hours of childcare a week, an increase of double from the previous 15 hours.

Although local councils will be subsidising nurseries to provide the free hours, many have come forward to claim they simply cannot afford to offer hours for free, or will be heavily restricting the number of places available.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said of the scheme: “For too long lots of families really struggled to manage the cost of childcare and that’s why we have delivered on our promise to provide 30 hours free – saving working families around £5,000 a year.”

However, the Pre-School Alliance has heavily criticised the Government’s attempt to implement the scheme, claiming delivery of the offer has forced many businesses to close down already. Highlighting the 20 per cent pay gap between funding from the Government and the actual cost to childcare providers as the main cause.

Has your nursery been affected by this scheme coming into force? Let us know:

E: education@athona.com

T: 01277 245840