The 2006 Code of Practice stating that all nursery children over the age of 3 are entitled to 15 hours per week free nursery education needs to be repealed.  The Govt only owns 15% of all nursery schools in England.  The remaining 85% are in private hands.  The rate that the govt wishes to pay private owners does not cover the costs of running their businesses therefore the onus of financial responsibiltiy to run this legislation will lie in the hands of a few nursery owners. 

This will mean that the quality of education that the children receive will be dumbed down in order to ensure that nurseries are not running at a loss.  The previous government were adement that no nursery owner should make a profit (see Dawn Primarolo), however governement don't understand that many/most nursery owners make very little profit anyway.  I am the owner of a small chain of nurseries.  Last year my profit equated to 0.05% of my investment.  This legislation hinders all private nursery owners from running their businesses and either the government should increase their budget to run this (currently £4bn per annum), recind it, or allow nursery owners to charge additional top up fees.  To do nothing will see this business wither very quickly.  As the nursery business allows parents the freedom to work, as well as being a significant employer, the government should urgently review this before it is too late.

Why is this idea important?

If the free entitlement is not reviewed/amended, it will see the nursery industry fall into decay.  Their will become a two tier system for children whereby the haves will be able to afford quality care and the have nots will be pushed into nurseries which have had to significantly cut costs (staffing) to cover their shortfalls.  Additionally, those that use nurseries for significantly more than 15 hours per week will be paying more to subsidise the losses that nursery owners will be suffering on those attending less than 15 hours a week.  Additionally it will limit choice for parents as only day care providers (nurseries open 50 weeks per year from 8am to 6pm) will be able to stay in business.  Pre-schools which are only open during term time will not survive.  Most people think this is a fantastic freebie, but don't understand the heavy price that will have to be paid by nursery owners and therefore the children attending nurseries.

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