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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Full time nursery in September... not likely..

Those Londoners with three year olds may already know that there have been changes in the way schools take children into their nursery classes.  You used to beable to apply for a nursery place and have the chance at a full-time, 9-3, place.  Not now.  Schools are now only offering part-time places in line with the free 15 hour entitlement.  Unless the child is 'looked after', meaning, a social worker is involved whether fostered, abused etc.. Or, if the parent is on benefits including income support, 3 hours a day 5 days a week is all that you are entitled to.  I'm confused.  I fully understand that a 'looked after child' should have access, but a free full-time place for the unemployed?

Maybe it's a sore subject for me as I am not entitled just as my 3rd son becomes of age.  I never used free school nursery services before as my other boys remained at private nursery until the age of 4+.  This time I was planning to do things differently.  I do not need the 8-6 hours offered and was quite happy this time to have a 9-3 and, as boy number 2 and boy number 3 could attend the same establishment, it meant a lot less travelling for me.  

I sit here and wonder how, with this government harping on rewarding the working parent, this plan is supposed to work.  If you work you can have 3 hours free, but if you work full time you will need someone to drop off and pick up, then, have your child for the excess until you finish work.  Some schools are offering a 'top up' service where you pay for the further 3 hours of the day, but, also, if you work full time you will still need to pay some one else for drop offs, pick ups and excess.. Mmmmm, are you just as confused or am I just dim?  How is this enabling working families, childcare costs are ever rising, from the point of the parent, more than they can afford, an, from the point of the nurseries, not enough to keep up with government expectations and staffing costs.  Where will this end.  In the meantime, I sheepishly accept my 3 hour a day place and pop in and out of the school like a jack in the box...  I hope they can cope with me on the PTA, I'll have more time on my hands to involve myself within the school!  Lord help them!

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