We are very excited with the outcome of our refurbished garden building. By insulating, cladding and installing double glazing doors and windows to the original building, this has provided a great extra space for our children to enjoy various activities all year round.
Pre-School have had lots of fun exploring flowers today 🌸🌿🌼
They used them to enhance their playdough by creating "pretty gardens" and "tree patterns" as well as using scissors to carefully cut them up. The children commented on the different colours and textures of the flowers as well as how they smelt. ... See MoreSee Less
The babies have had a very busy few weeks leading up to Christmas! They have had lots of fun creating different festive crafts and loved dancing to the Christmas music. We also had a special visit from Santa 🎅 at our Christmas Party today, the babies loved taking part in pass the parcel and enjoyed eating lots of party food.🎄 ... See MoreSee Less
The Preschool children had a great time at their Christmas party today! 🎄🎁⛄ They had lots of fun playing musical statues, pass the parcel and enjoyed some yummy party food. We had a surprise guest from the North Pole who bought presents for all the Preschool children for being such good boys and girls! 🎅 ... See MoreSee Less
Best Nursery in Leicester Expert recommended Top 3 Nursery in Leicester, UK. All of our nursery face a rigorous 50-Point Inspection, which includes local reviews, history, trading standards, ratings, satisfaction, trust, price and their general excellence. Only the bee's knees! threebestrated.co.uk/nursery-in-leicester... See MoreSee Less
Expert recommended Top Nursery in Leicester. How do we actually find? ThreeBestRated.co.uk 50-Point Inspection includes everything from checking reputation, history, complaints, reviews, ratings, sati...
The toddler children and staff have been very busy making the room festive. They have created a new North Pole role play, a new winter playdough station, a Christmas tree decorating area and some new Christmas displays. 🎄🎅❄️☃️" ... See MoreSee Less
Our Pre-school children have been very busy creating their own lovely decorations for The Christmas Tree Festival. The tree along with others is being displayed at St Mary Magdalen Church, Knighton over the weekend.
Admission £2 per adult. Children Free. All profits to Hope Against Cancer and Church Spire Appeal Fund. Refreshments, Activities and Raffle. ... See MoreSee Less
This is a letter in The Times newspaper from a large group of early years educators which we are part of.
Asking the government for honesty & clarity on what they call “FREE” childcare. To give the TRUE story of how childcare costs are covered !
It’s NOT Free & as parents & carers we all need to be aware of the whitewash in the funding of our children.
Don’t get bamboozled by manifestos & promises. Regardless of the government party you support they ALL need to be clear & transparent.
Let’s hope our letter has an impact.
INDEPENDENT CHILDCARERS QUESTION GOVERNMENT, ‘WHAT IS ‘FREE’ CHILDCARE, ANYWAY?’
As the UK gears up for the general election on December 12th, it comes to no surprise that childcare is playing on the mind of Brits. But, with seven manifesto pledges circulating – all trying to win over the hearts of the British public – an independent childcare group has come forward, to query the Government’s ‘free’ childcare offer.
A small group co-ordinated by Tom Shea, Imaginator at Child First Welbeck, has joined forces with nearly 200 other independent childcare providers across the UK – heading up a campaign to challenge the quality of the current Government childcare offering.
In today’s The Times, the group has outlined its concerns in a 600-word open letter. Summarising its contents, Tom says, “The Government shouts about ‘free’ childcare, but the reality is that the subsidy doesn’t meet the cost of quality staff, or any of the extras provided.
We’ve written this letter to publicly debunk the offer, in a bid to make more parents and carers aware that it’s not so black-and-white.” According to the latest figures from Ofsted, over 500 nurseries and childminders closed every month between April 2018 and March 2019. A grand total of 6,843 businesses had no choice but to admit defeat, as a result of the Government’s failure to meet funding requirements. In fact, according to Family and Childcare Trust, full-time working parents in England need to contribute an average of £376 per month towards childcare – even when taking the Government’s free 30-hour allocation into account.
Campaigning for transparency, Tom hopes that the group’s efforts makes parents realise the challenges nurseries face, “In some areas, ‘free’ childcare funding can be less than £4 per hour – how can nurseries possibly offer high-quality care and education, when they’re forced to recruit based on these figures?”
When asked for a statement on the setting of the figures, The Department for Education refused to comment; and even went as far as appealing the Information Commissioners’ Office’s decision to reveal the calculation of the funding rates.
Nodding to the upcoming election, Tom continues, “Claims of ‘free’ childcare may make for vote-grabbing headlines, but all it does is extend a failing, misleading system. We need to work with parents to challenge the Government now, to secure hope for future generations.”
Advocate of another campaign and Chief Executive of Early Years Alliance, Neil Leitch, says, “What does it say about the state of the childcare sector when providers feel they have no choice but to buy an advert in The Times just so politicians will pay attention?
It’s appalling to think it’s come to this – but I know most people in the sector are at their wits’ end with worry about the early years funding crisis.”
Neil concludes, “We simply can’t go on pretending that everything is fine.
Funding levels are at least five years out of date and have been frozen since 2017, meaning they don’t even begin to cover the subsequent increases to the minimum wage and other costs, and have left the sector struggling to negotiate a national shortfall of £662 million.”
Jo Morris Golds, of the aptly-named ‘Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding’ group, agrees, “The under-funding of 'free' childcare is closing settings, and risks destabilising the sector.
It is vital that we continue to raise awareness of this as we now see at least 2 political parties offering more 'free' childcare in their manifestos”
“Our message is simple, we are asking the Government and all political parties to be honest about what they are offering, there is no such this as 'free' childcare; there is taxpayer-funded childcare, but, in most cases the hourly rates paid to providers does not cover the cost of provision.
The Department for Education tell us that parents 'can expect to pay' for the things that the funding 'is not intended to cover', so we need all parties to be honest about what they are actually offering.”
Jo concludes, “Extending a scheme which is already closing settings will not end well for anyone, so we urge parents and voters to be very cautious about additional 'free' childcare because quite simply, it's not free”.
To find out more information or to support this campaign for transparency around ‘free’ childcare, parents and carers are advised to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding #wecareaboutchildren #fundednotfree #qualityearlyeducation #champagnenurseries #lemonadefunding ... See MoreSee Less
APPENDIX 1 – LETTER IN ‘THE TIMES’ 05.12.19
An open letter to all parents and carers with young children
This letter is written to people who care about and understand the importance of high quality early years Childcare and Education. The page has been written, supported and paid for by over 300 caring providers from nurseries, childminders and pre-schools, who currently support and develop over 80,000 children every day.
So far in 2019, according to Ofsted’s own figures, 500 childcare settings have closed each month, leaving thousands of children and their parents without appropriate or adequate facilities and it is devastating that the settings struggling the most are in the most deprived areas. It is already too late for many of these.
We are not however, asking for your sympathy. Rather, we are calling for clarity and honesty from the Government and for your increased awareness and support.
While we of course understand the appeal to families of “free” childcare offers, the overly complicated legislation and insufficient funding rates are crippling providers, as we are forced to choose between swallowing losses or cross-subsiding in attempts to remain viable.
The reality is that the high quality childcare every child deserves, costs more to deliver than the funding provided by government.
The hourly funding rates given to providers for ‘free’ childcare were set in 2015 and have been frozen since then. Outside London, the funding rate can be less than £4 per hour. We asked for the calculation of how this was set.
The Department for Education refused and even appealed a decision by the Information Commissioners Office that they must reveal how they calculated the funding rates. You can draw your own conclusions as to why they prefer to hide this.
What we are calling for, is honesty and clarity for families about what is actually ‘free’. The Government shout about ‘free’ childcare, but tell us that funding ‘is not intended’ to pay for meals, consumables or extra activities and that parents ‘can expect to pay’ for these. At the point of delivery for parents, it is often therefore not actually free at all.
Alongside the assumption of low pay for staff, the Government do not recognise that the experiences we provide along with, in many cases, nutritious meals and necessary consumables, are essential ingredients in delivering a great experience for your children. Our work is linked to brain development, to proper nutrition, to proper exercise, to great opportunities led by capable and enthusiastic professionals.
We are passionate about attracting, training and paying our professional staff in a way that provides the best for our children. The funding rate supresses wages in our sector, making retention difficult.
We have no problem at all with any Government wanting to help with the cost of childcare. What we are asking for, is the recognition and acceptance that the quality we want and you need us to provide, has a cost attached to it. Our dedicated staff members are worth and have trained to be worth, more than the national living wage. We want to pay them at a level that recognises they are highly skilled professionals caring for and educating our youngest children. The importance of this cannot be overestimated.
Expanding the availability of ‘free’ childcare may make for vote grabbing headlines, but extending a failing system in a misleading attempt to win over the electorate, will not end well for anyone.
Children are our focus and you as parents are our biggest allies. So please consider all of this when reading those manifesto pledges because quite simply, Government funded childcare is not ‘free’.
Please support us in demanding services that meet the needs of your children and are funded appropriately – thank you.
For more information or to offer support email us on email@example.com