The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) want parents to have the freedom to use their funded childcare entitlement with whichever childcare provider they prefer. This includes using the funding as a contribution to the cost, where the parent would cover the rest themselves in order to give their child the childcare that they believe is best suited for them. This also includes allowing the nurseries to make add-on charges if there is anything over basic childcare.
The government has responded by stating that childcare providers are able to charge parents for additional fees, but cannot make these extra charges a condition when taking on a child. These extra charges allowed to be placed on top of the free childcare funding will be beneficial to the childcare providers, as 1,300 responses to the ‘30 hour delivery model consultation’ stated that the biggest threat to the offer of free childcare was that the funding didn’t cover all the costs and providers were making a loss.
The Government disagrees that the funding rates will be too low, especially now that childcare providers are allowed full flexibility in charging for essential extras such as food and additional activities. The chief executive of NDNA, Purnima Tanuku OBE, agrees that being able to charge for additional services will help make up for the lack of funding, but urges that people stop looking at these 30 hours as free and start seeing it as funding.
The NDNA have been working tirelessly to make sure there is sufficient funding to make the 30 hours viable and will continue to work towards the best possible terms and make childcare a success for both families and nurseries.