Gransnet forums


childcare rules for over 2s

(32 Posts)
etheltbags1 Wed 03-Sep-14 21:25:44

am I being unreasonable to think that the new rules for 2 year olds childcare is unfair. Maybe someone could put me right, My DGD will be 2 soon and various people have said she will be able to get 15 free hours a week childcare. Her mum works p/t and dad F/T, however the free places are means tested and they earn too much.
Free places for all are limited to 3yr olds and those on benefits.
I though that the new rules are to give all the chance to work, David Cameron was supposed to be wanting all mums to get to work.
Can anyone tell me why a family on benefit needs childcare, if they are on benefit they are sitting at home so why cant they look after their kids themselves. I can understand a single parent for instance may find that having free childcare means the difference to working or not working but to penalise ordinary families is so unfair. Any comments

janeainsworth Wed 03-Sep-14 21:34:48

If you think as I do that 3 year-olds benefit from nursery education, then why on earth would you want children whose parents were in receipt of state benefits to miss out?

Deedaa Wed 03-Sep-14 21:52:04

Surely the big scandal at the moment is the number of working families who are having to rely on benefits to make ends meet? They are the people who will find free childcare a great help. Being on benefits doesn't necessarily mean sitting at home.

absent Wed 03-Sep-14 21:54:29

There are working parents on benefits too, I think. Besides, young children need to socialise and start learning the skills they will need later, such as listening, taking turns, sharing, etc.

Agus Wed 03-Sep-14 22:14:27

I think the same as jane and yes, there are working parents on benefits too.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 03-Sep-14 22:20:10

What makes you think that parents on benefits are sitting at home doing nothing? They are likely to be in low paid jobs. And yes, their children need the benefit of early education too. hmm

Ana Wed 03-Sep-14 22:22:14

Of course, but I do agree with ethel's point about those working parents who earn just a few pounds over the limit for them to qualify for free nursery hours.

It's the same with a lot of benefits, though.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 03-Sep-14 22:24:31

I suppose there has to be a cut-off point for the sake of the economy. And we are only talking two year olds. The three year olds get the free places.

Aka Wed 03-Sep-14 22:24:37

It's not a universal truth that all children benefit from nursery education. Being at home with mum can be just as stimulating given the right circumstances.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 03-Sep-14 22:28:48

Yes. But half a day in nursery is likely to be good. IMO. Not necessarily for two year olds though. Perhaps that is a bit young, unless due to financilal hardship requiring the mum to earn.

Soutra Wed 03-Sep-14 23:16:55

The difference is that betwern Nursery Education snd Childcare. The free nursery places are precisely that and while I know that childcare is inevitably involved the emphasis is on allowing a wider social and educational experience for 3 year olds. The difficulty of affording childcare so as to be able to go out to work is another issue and I think it is so hard when mums virtually work for nothing as most of their earnings go on child care. That is where the Granny Army is so.much more essential than in our or our mothers' day.

Iam64 Thu 04-Sep-14 08:52:55

The funding for 2 year olds to have 15 hours in a nursery setting is not part of a drive to get "all mums" into work. It's been made available because the government recognises that societies who provide good early years care for the children generally do better, than societies where this isn't available.

As others have pointed out, it isn't a universal benefit, and those whose income is above the cut off point, pay for it. Many of the children benefitting from 2 year funding are from disadvantaged families. Those are the children who most need this opportunity. An additional positive, is that parents are made aware of the other services provided by the family centres providing the 2 year funded places.

Mishap Thu 04-Sep-14 08:57:19

The rules for these various bits of assistance towards child care are fiendishly complicated. I would guess that the take-up is affected by that.

Nelliemoser Thu 04-Sep-14 09:26:40

My DGS nearly two, attends a child care nursery as his mum works part time.

Against everything I felt when my children were small, I am impressed by the benefits of the socialisation and the other skills he has learnt.

If it is a question of helping those children from families whose parents do not know how to provide a stimulating environment for their children.

I am sure it should help a lot of children become ready for school. In terms of improving speech and social interaction, sitting still and listening to things when asked to.
I know infant school teachers who say you can easily recognise those children who have had some nursery school experience and they are much more ready to take advantage of being in a reception class environment.

etheltbags1 Thu 04-Sep-14 09:41:31

I am regarding childcare as being to allow the parents to work. Where a parent with a two year old may not be able to afford if there wasn't free childcare. If they are not working the parents should look after their own kids.
It is a proven fact that under 3yrs they don't socialise with other children, they just play in the same area, I believe that my DGD is just as well stimulated by going shopping, soft play, swimming visiting relatives etc as any child in childcare.
At 3 the nursery school education as well as being childcare is important for them to learn to socialise.
My question was could anybody make sense of the rules, because I cant.
I have no issue with low paid workers who put their children into childcare to work, I just think that if the government want all mothers to work they should make the free childcare available for all or say for those under the working tax credit limits which (I could be wrong here), is I think £40,000 per year.
Also I was talking to a young mum with a baby and a 1 yr old and she tells me she gets free childcare just to give her a break, her partner has a job and she puts the oldest in nursery and goes off to get her hair done. Sorry but that riles me, I know lots of mums with maybe twins or two under a year and they just have to get on with it.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 04-Sep-14 09:44:01

Agree with iam64's post. It's for the benefit of the child, not just to enable the parents to work.

etheltbags1 Thu 04-Sep-14 09:57:05

sorry I don't agree, children need to be with their parents or other close family/friends not farmed out at 2 to childcare, no matter how well trained they are. It is acceptable when mum has to work as a last resort but I cant accept they are better off with strangers leaving mum/dad at home.

However at 3, when they are in nursery, they are generally more mature and can understand that they are 'going to school', they know that someone will be back to seek them and they can learn to socialise.

Nelliemoser Thu 04-Sep-14 10:06:19

Ethel I think they begin to interact with others apart from parallel play much earlier than three.

My son and his beloved girlfriend "E***y" knew each other from about 10 months and enjoyed playing together then.

They played constructively together from about 18months.

They got up to some mischief but they were always asking to see each other. There was a most definite bond there.

Iam64 Fri 05-Sep-14 08:45:01

ethelbags - I accept your opinions, and your right to express them, but I don't agree with you. More importantly, the evidence from research doesn't support your views.

The anger you express towards parents who get 'free child care', yet don't go to work, seems judgemental to me. If our policy makers followed the ethelbags approach to provision of services for children and families, we'd be consigning many disadvantaged children to even further disadvantage.

FlicketyB Fri 05-Sep-14 17:53:30

Children from families on benefits are often from the most deprived backgrounds, often living in poor housing, with other problems including disability and addiction in the family. They are probably among the children who will most benefit from free childcare.

The fact that parents are home all day does not necessarily mean that they are capable of providing a very young child with the nurturing and care it requires.

Gracesgran Fri 05-Sep-14 18:46:15

You are, as others have said, entitled to your views etheltbags1 but again like others, I don't generally agree.
I am regarding childcare as being to allow the parents to work. Where a parent with a two year old may not be able to afford if there wasn't free childcare. If they are not working the parents should look after their own kids.

So what about sick parents, parents who have just been made redundant, parents looking to return to work, parents unable to completely fulfil the needs of a child but aware that childcare may help.

It is a proven fact that under 3yrs they don't socialise with other children, they just play in the same area ...

Again nothing is so black and white. Even if the majority of children "just play in the same area" they will not start to socialise the day after they are three. They will be learning these skills, occasionally putting them into practice, etc. All the things they learn from three onwards will be based on what they have learned previously. They are not just learning how to interact with other children but how to listen, how to respond to other adults, how to work in a group, etc.

I think judging whether other people should have the benefit of childcare is quite invidious as, whatever the mother says, you have no idea of her circumstances. Perhaps the only real answer is to take all the allowances away from parents and use them to provide wrap around care for children, from breakfast to evening meal, with childcare from day one and pre and after school care (even weekends?) for everyone who wants and needs to take advantage of it. Generally the self-selection of these services will be on the grounds of need and it would mean the money went straight into the care of the children.

etheltbags1 Fri 05-Sep-14 20:16:26

sorry if you don't agree with me but I was brought up in the 50s/early 60s by my gran who was strict to the point of being verbally abusive, we had little as my mum lived with her mum and went to work but gran was so proud we never got involved in authorities, never accepted charity and kept ourselves to ourselves, I was hardly allowed to speak let alone play with others. However I was the best dressed in school, well spoken and polite and I have brought my daughter up, although much more lenient, in a similar way. As a widowed mother I never accepted help and always worked. Therefore I find it hard to believe that in a society where we are supposed to be equal, that help for childcare is given to those who don't work or have not got capabilities to look after their kids.

Does this not give out a message to some that its ok to have random sex because the kids will be given every advantage, where is the work ethic. My mother used to go to work in an underpaid office and was never off, I used to go to work even if I had flu as long as I could pay my bills and its not much different now. I think there is a lot of bitterness in todays society among the lower paid regarding the advantages that some people receive. this is unfair to the majority of people who work and get no help

FlicketyB Sat 06-Sep-14 10:17:55

But it is not the children's fault and by giving them, in a nursery, the care and support they may not get at home we are helping to ensure that when they get to school and beyond they will be more resilient and responsible when thy reach working age.

There have also been major structural changes in the economy since the 1950s. The 1980s saw the wholesale destruction of the manufacturing base of our economy. Many communities were left divest of any employment as whole industries closed down and for many years there was little or no alternative employment. A whole generation was brought up without any experience of employment in the home while their parents brought up to earn their own living sunk into depression despair and apathy at their inability to provide for their families.

Just as you, with your background, cannot understand the poor and the feckless and could not imagine acting like them. They are in the opposite trench, with no experience or expectation of work they cannot understand why anyone would slave for a pitiful sum to live in greater poverty than them.

All we can do is help their children make better choices in life.

trisher Sat 06-Sep-14 10:38:06

Just a note about the history of childcare as there seems to be a "we looked after our own children and this new nursery care isn't as good" attitude being expressed. The best nursery provision in this country-free, all day care was developed during WW2 when the government needed women to work in munitions etc. I was lucky enough to be a part of the last wave of this, attending all day nursery when I was 3 because my mother was too ill to look after me. My dad took me there on his bike early in the morning and picked me up when he finished work. They all closed in the 50s of course.
The big scandal is how much parents have to pay for any childcare, and this- providing free care for some, but not for others, is one way of splitting what should be the united voice of all parents demanding affordable, high quality childcare accessible to all who want it.
Oh and my DGD who is 19 months has made a definite friendship at nursery, is incredibly happy and has had so many enriching experiences there.

nightowl Sat 06-Sep-14 11:33:35

I think we have to accept that day nurseries are here to stay. The proportion of children attending some form of day nursery is growing - I found a recent figure of 25% of under twos will spend some time in one (figures from 2010) whereas in the wartime nurseries mentioned by trisher the figure was only 6% of 0 - 4 year olds. They were a political response to a wartime need for workers and many mothers were resistant to using them, to the dismay of the government who needed women in the workforce. I'm sure some were very good but it's important to remember that it was John Bowlby's studies of these nurseries that led to him developing attachment theory, which has led to a much greater understanding of young children's emotional needs. I know his work was also politically motivated (a need to get women out of the workforce after the war and back in the home) but it can't be denied that it has led to great advances in our knowledge and has also been used to improve day nurseries for the benefit of the children using them.

I think we will all have a personal view of the best child care for small children. My own view is that day nurseries are not beneficial for under twos, but are sadly necessary for working parents and the best ones will do no harm. For disadvantaged children, they may be beneficial but I would far prefer to see the emphasis being placed on involving parents from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn how to care for, play with, and enjoy their children, rather than separating the children off and substituting for parents. After all, parenting doesn't stop at 5 and investment in supporting child - parent relationships in those early years would IMO pay dividends as the child grows up.