Let’s be clear, despite politicians trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, there’s simply no such thing as ‘free’ childcare – there never was and never will be!! Taking care of a young child takes a lot of time and one to one attention, hence the need for good quality ratios of adult:children.
It’s time for the term ‘FREE’ , which is all-too-easily used by politicians, to be challenged, as it’s now causing serious confusion and hides the shortfall to nursery providers and small businesses. Childcare is subsidised – but the subsidies offered don’t even cover costs of running Ofsted registered settings.
The truth is that childcare is funded by us the taxpayers – and more money diverted to extending childcare hours for our youngest children will inevitably mean less money spent elsewhere, on other services, What’s unclear is where will the cuts be made to fund more childcare? NHS? Primary or secondary education? Social care? Mental health services? Where can cuts be made?
Also staff wages in the early years sector need to rise, but that’s yet another reason why the parties aren’t being truthful about their their various childcare offers….
It’s all about trying to win votes.
And worryingly little about children’s developmental needs or the importance of family time.
by Marie Peacock
21st April 2015