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Is it time to fund state nurseries?

(37 Posts)
trisher Sat 02-May-20 09:32:41

Many of the private nurseries claim they will lose money and many say they will close because of the crisis. Is it now time to stop regarding nursery education as something which is a "extra" and include it in the state sector? It is after all the main provider for under 5s and it frees women to keep working.

Galaxy Sat 02-May-20 09:51:52

We need to place a value on early years first, it is frequently in my view seen as lesser.

vampirequeen Sat 02-May-20 10:03:49

Definitely and fund care homes too. Children and those who need care are too special and vulnerable to be left to the vagaries of the private sector.

tanith Sat 02-May-20 10:28:16

The only way my GS and his wife are surviving is because the nursery they use has thankfully waived fees while this goes on, the money is paying the rent while GS has no income as he’s self-employed. I agree with the OP even if only partly.

tanith Sat 02-May-20 10:29:09

I mean partly funded by government not partly agree ?

trisher Sat 02-May-20 10:33:08

I was thinking that this is something that was done in WW2 when women were needed to work in the factories and keep the country running. The nurseries started then lasted for a few years after the war- I went to one in 1948 when my mother was ill- they closed as women went from the workforce in the 50s'. So it has been done before in times of crisis.

Witzend Sat 02-May-20 11:04:41

I agree 100% with nurseries, or at least with state-subsidised much more affordable charges, but not with care home provision for everybody with assets - the cost would be colossal.

I know she was unusual, but my (self funded) mother was in her dementia care home from the age of 89 until she died at 97 - just under 8 years. We were very lucky at the time to be able to buy an annuity to cover costs above her income - still a very hefty sum even when interest rates were much more favourable. We ‘won’ the annuity ‘bet’ at around the 4 year mark, but does anyone really think that that money should eventually have come to her family, rather than paying for her own badly needed care?

I believe the average stay is around 2 1/2 years. I know that during her long stay I saw many other residents arrive, decline, and quietly disappear.

However I do think govt. funding for those without sufficient assets should increase. At the moment it’s typically way below what any self-funder has to pay for exactly the same care in the same care home. And of course there should be far more local-authority run care homes, rather than those run for profit. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be as good as the very good but moderately priced homes we’ve seen over the years.

GagaJo Sat 02-May-20 11:05:22

I agree. Nursery should be part of an education system.

oldgimmer1 Sat 02-May-20 11:06:47

I agree in principle. Other countries manage it.

the taxpayer someone is going to have to pay for it though.

annsixty Sat 02-May-20 11:29:52

If you feel happy paying much more income tax to subsidise a couple working and earning £100, 000+ then yes, let us have free nurseries
If we are talking preschools open a few hours a day to educate and integrate young children, it already is in place, children between 3 and 5 get 15 hours free each week and 30 hours in some circumstances and I am all for that.

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 11:36:19

someone is going to have to pay for it though.

The 'nation' pays for it, oldgimmer.

The nation is not a business, it doesn't have to make a profit, or even 'balance the books', because it doesn't have to 'earn' aanything. It issues its own money. If it were to fund nursery education the money it puts in will come back to it by way of taxes on the sales (VAT) and profits of the the private companies it buys all its resources from; from furniture and equipment to toilet paper and cleaning materials. Also, income tax from the staff employed by its private suppliers, whose wages come out of the income they make from supplying the government.
Then the same taxes apply to the wages the government pay to their directly employed staff; income tax, taxes on their purchases and taxes on the businesses (and their employees) that they purchase from.

The only money that doesn't come back pretty fast is any savings that people might make. But even that get taxed back once the savings are spent.

So, tell me why our government, which is supposed to run the country so as to benefit all its citizens, couldn't finance universal nursery education?

MawB Sat 02-May-20 11:38:31

I don’t think “now” is the time to look for state- funded anything. Goodness knows how we are going to,pay for the last two months alone let alone the years to come with an economy in recession.
Nurseries can be eye-wateringly expensive and many mums I have known over the years have seen no change out of their pay cheques after meeting nursery fees , but have felt it a worthwhile investment 1) to keep their career ticking over and 2) because children benefit from social interaction with their peers before starting school.
So yes, in principle, but I won’t hold my breath.

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 11:39:20

Taxation doesn't fund spending, annsixty. That is a myth. A very convenient myth when it comes to governments persuading the populace that we 'can't afford' public services of any kind, or minimal services only.

See my previous post. Then tell me why we can't finance nursery education...

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 11:41:00


Please tell me who we are going to have to 'pay for the last two months'.

Where do you think the money has come from?

trisher Sat 02-May-20 11:48:57

I think private nurseries are now very much saying that they will need some government money to survive. In other words it will cost whatever happens, because if those nurseries fold there will be thousands of parents who simply won't both be able to work. One of them will have to stay home What's the betting that it will be the mother?

MawB Sat 02-May-20 12:03:12

I don’t actually get your question MaixieD.
Without a magic money tree, where are the billions promised to cover furloughing, grants to small businesses, UC to a massively wider demographic.
If the solution is to print money, we will all pay the price with the inevitable inflation which follows.
Increased unemployment from the (hundreds of) thousands who will be losing their jobs means both a drop in taxation revenue, and a rise in benefit payments. Not to mention the probable attendant costs of MH issues.
A depressed economy will mean lower revenues from indirect taxation such as VAT, a depressed economy will also have a knock on effect on housing, sales and purchases so income from Stamp Duty will reduce.
So whom are we going to have to pay?
LSS - HMG in the form of massively raised taxes with or without further cuts in spending.

MawB Sat 02-May-20 12:13:56

MaizieD you claim
The nation is not a business, it doesn't have to make a profit, or even 'balance the books

It does - that’s generally known as The Budget.

It issues its own money
Ay- there’s the rub!
May I refer you to the rampant inflation all over the world but especially in Germany in the 30’s?
Or more recently countries like Zimbabwe where inflation in 2019 reached 500%.
Or Venezuela where the rate of inflation in 2019 reached 9586%
That’s what happens when “Quantitative easing” = just printing money.

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 12:56:41

Without a magic money tree, where are the billions promised to cover furloughing

Well, that is another way of putting my question, MawB.

Where do you think it's coming from?

growstuff Sat 02-May-20 13:05:11

MawB Venezuela's problem was that its economy was linked to the petro dollar and wasn't truly independent. Germany's problems in the 1930s were caused by demands to repay repatriations for WW1.

During the current crisis, the UK is a sovereign currency issuing country. It's raised money from long term bonds (mainly). That money doesn't have to be repaid for ages and the people who have lent the money are quite happy to earn long-term interest. It will be a big, fat figure in the red on the country's balance, but it doesn't matter that much.

SueDonim Sat 02-May-20 13:31:46

I think the issue goes back even further than nursery education, to whether we value mother/parenthood. Being a stay-at-home-mother (SAHM) is generally looked down upon today, unless you can afford to be a yummy mummy type. As a SAHM you are ‘economically inactive’ and not contributing to the nation’s coffers.

Maybe we should put a value on child-rearing and pay parents an income to reflect that, which could then be used as payment towards nursery fees if the parents want to work outside the home. Though how you’d organise that, I’ve no idea, I’ll admit!

annsixty Sat 02-May-20 13:36:29

In that case why not pay a really decent state pension to the people to whom that is their only income.
I hasten to add that is not me, I have another adequate pension and would be happy to be means tested.
It would be the difference to some of living with dignity or deciding between food and heating in the winter.

MawB Sat 02-May-20 13:37:39

MaizieD your question was WHO are we going to have to pay
My question is who is going to have to pay and the answer is simple - we are!

MawB Sat 02-May-20 13:38:49

Growstuff I agree that previous examples of inflation have been the result of exceptional circumstances.

What do you think these are?

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 13:38:58

Perhaps you could just increase the child benefit to reflect the 'care' value of being an SAHM, SueDonim. I like your idea.

I've always thought it odd that caring for a child, or children, has a 'value' when it's not done by a parent.

MaizieD Sat 02-May-20 13:41:58

MawB. Who are we supposed to be paying it back to? Where has it come from?

I'll give you a clue. Where did the QE, (£245 billion, wasn't it?), come from in 2008/9?