Nannies and the 15/30 Hours Funded Childcare Scheme

In England, the 30-hour funded childcare scheme has been helpful for many working parents, offering financial assistance and easing some of the burden of childcare costs. However, one crucial aspect of childcare often goes unnoticed in this scheme – the exclusion of nannies. Despite being valuable caregivers, nannies find themselves left out as they are not required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework or be registered with Ofsted.

Understanding the 30-Hour Funded Childcare Scheme:

The 30-hour funded childcare scheme was introduced to provide eligible working parents with 30 hours of free childcare per week for their three to four-year-old children. While the initiative has undoubtedly supported countless families, the limitations in its scope have left some caregivers, particularly nannies, facing challenges.

The Role of Nannies:

Nannies play a vital role in the upbringing and care of children, often becoming an integral part of the family unit. Unlike nurseries, preschools and childminders, nannies offer personalised care within the child’s home environment. Their flexibility caters to the unique needs of each family, providing a level of individualised attention that may not be achievable in group settings.

EYFS Exclusion and Its Impact:

The exclusion of nannies from the 30-hour funded childcare scheme stems from the fact that they are not required to follow the EYFS framework or register with Ofsted. EYFS sets standards for early years education, ensuring that children receive quality care, learning, and development. Please see our blog on Nannies and the EYFS. While these guidelines are crucial for group settings, the Department of Education states they might not align with the one-on-one care provided by nannies.

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Challenges Faced by Families:

Many families, particularly those with irregular working hours or those who prefer the intimacy of home-based care, rely on nannies for their childcare needs. This provides a greater opportunity to cater for flexible working hours, or fulfilling the needs of children who prefer a more bespoke approach.

Advocating for Inclusion:

It is essential to recognise the valuable contribution of nannies in the childcare landscape and reconsider their exclusion from the 30-hour funded childcare scheme. Advocates argue that a more inclusive approach would not only benefit families but also acknowledge the diverse ways in which childcare is provided. However, funding would need to be correct in order for this scheme to work in the Nanny industry. Wages differ greatly around the country so it would not be a “one size fits all”.

Potential Solutions:

To address the issue, policymakers could explore options such as expanding the eligibility criteria to include nannies who meet certain qualifications (perhaps if they go on the voluntary register with Ofsted) or developing a separate support system for families employing nannies. The Nanny Connection believes this would be the way forward. Nannies are already included in the Tax-Free Childcare scheme with vouchers. Perhaps if this initiative could be brought back for Nanny Employers, they would then gain some inclusion and help with childcare costs.

While the 30-hour funded childcare scheme has undoubtedly been a positive step in supporting working parents, it is crucial to recognise the limitations and work towards a more inclusive approach. Nannies, as essential caregivers, deserve acknowledgement and support in the form of accessible childcare schemes that cater to the diverse needs of families. By bridging the gap between policy and the reality of childcare, we can create a more comprehensive system that truly serves parents and families.

 

Author: Allie Bell
Published on: Last updated: 26th February 2024

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