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Childcare & Education

It’s a postcode lottery for funding

​The results of a freedom of information request submitted by the NDNA released today has highlighted the disparity between the rates paid to local authority partner nurseries across Scotland.

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Partner Nurseries in Clackmannanshire are paid £5 per child per hour for care for three to five-year olds while those in Inverclyde receive just £3.25.

The average funding received for a two-year old in Scotland is £4.95 and for three to five-year olds is £3.84.

Many providers argue that Partnership is the key to a successful and sustainable business, particularly with the planned increase in funded hours to 1140 by 2020. This however, only applies if the rate paid to partner nurseries is fair, reasonable and enough to cover ever increasing costs, including auto enrolment, increases to the National Living and Minimum Wage rates, rising inflation to name but a few.

When you look at the future requirement to pay staff the Scottish Living wage of £8.75 per hour to be a 1140 partner provider, it is clear where the problem lies.

Many providers have been asking themselves - How do you stand up and ask for a fair deal when there are a queue of other operators waiting to take your spot as a Local Authority partner?

Hopefully the publication of this data today will lift the veil of mystery and open the doors for operators and local authorities to enter into a meaningful discussion about the future of nursery funding in Scotland and a fair deal for all involved.

Time will tell...

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