Our petition campaigning for increased rates for the 3 and 4 funded places has to date surpassed its target of 10,000 signatures by receiving 26,120 signatures in just two months.
Currently parents of 3 and 4 year olds receive a maximum of 15 hours free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year. “The average cost per child is around £5 per hour to include everything from staff costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, resources, food; the list goes on,” explains Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director. “The government subsidise these free hours but do not come close to meeting the £5 per hour it costs us. In some cases, the announcement in April actually reduced the amount of funding we received, with our Poole nurseries hit the worst where the funding was reduced from £4.16 per hour to just £3.71 per hour.”
Cheryl has spent the last two months since the announcement seeking support from other early year’s providers affected by the rates, as well as canvassing the local MP’s. Several nurseries around Britain have already closed due to the funding crisis, leaving parents struggling to find alternative arrangements, as well as people losing their jobs. “Things will only get worse later in the year with the introduction of the 30 hours free funding, with several nurseries around England already stating they will not be offering 30 free hours.
“We have one of the most important jobs looking after children and shaping their young minds. The pressure and responsibility our staff have is extremely high, and yet we’re in one of the lowest paid sectors; one of things we would be able to rectify if we received the appropriate level of funding. I’m delighted that our petition has received the support it has, not only have we had thousands of signatures but almost 4,000 shares on Facebook.”
To sign the petition and show your support towards an increased rate of funding, visit the website here.