Sometimes what’s good in one way can mean problems in so many others.

 

Well, that’s exactly what’s happening as a result of government’s proposed plans to expand free child care for three and four year olds from 15 hours to 30 hours for 38 weeks a year by 2017.

 

Sounds great right?

 

Well, not for child care providers as they worry they may have to close down because of the proposed plan.

 

Nearly 750 of them according to the survey conducted by the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

 

With double that number fearing the detrimental effect the plan will have.

 

As it stands, 98% if those surveyed said they currently provide the 15-hour free entitlement but 19% said they were not planning on increasing that to the 30-hours proposed.

 

Chief executive, Neil Leitch said:

 

“These figures are a stark warning of what could happen if the Government insists on rolling out an underfunded, under-resourced free entitlement offer."

 

"While we welcome plans to increase average early years funding rates as an important first step, independent research has shown that, with continued cost pressures including the introduction of the 'national living wage', this will still leave a significant funding gap for early years providers." he said.

 

"Given that the move to 30 hours means that most providers will no longer be able to cross-subsidise in order to plug this gap, it's no surprise that so many are fearing for their future.”

 

 

This initially great sounding proposal might have a huge negative impact on families as 48% of those surveyed said they would have to reduce the number of places they offered as a result of the plan.

 

Saying that the government are “turning a blind eye” to the concerns of the child care providers on whether it is possible to deliver this offer.

 

In a statement from the Department of Education to ITV News, a spokesman said: "We have already carried out an extensive consultation with the sector and have undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of this market ever.”

 

"As a result, we will be increasing the average funding rate paid to providers through an additional £300 million per year."

 

"We will also be consulting on fairer funding allocations, including the introduction of an early years national funding formula, and making sure more money reaches the front line instead of being top-sliced by councils."

 

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