Don’t forget the consultation ends tomorrow!
It is so important to have your say. I have sent mine off but thought it may help you to know what I have written in the free text boxes. Feel free to copy my responses – if you agree with me of course!
This is what I think
Q11 – Whilst I completely agree that this element should be included and that the use of the FSM measure is simple to calculate, I am concerned that this will artificially skew the amounts involved as I know that many school colleagues are increasingly having a challenge to persuade parents to register for FSM now their children have access to free meals universally in the infants Also only children with the most significant disabilities qualify for DLA. I realise that LA’s are expected to utilise the High Needs block of DSG to meet the needs of all children with a disability, however this pot of funding is under increasing pressure and I am concerned that there will be a significant group of children with special needs which are undiagnosed or less severe who will not have their needs met adequately.
Q14 – I do agree that this is the most sensible approach, but feel I need to make the point strongly that 15 or 30 hours term time cannot in reality be described as childcare as most people need to work all year round
Q18 – I think LA-s should retain less that this – for too long they have used DSG to fund activities which they should be funding from RSG
As a consultant providing business support to EY providers I am well aware how efficient business practices can support sustainability. My concern is not about the principle, but about how it may be supported.
Rewarding efficiency is all very well, but this will not help those providers who are unable or unwilling to improve business practice.
In addition, many LA’s are now dismantling the teams who were able to provide such support. Providers, especially small ones, are often operating on very low margins and as such are unable to buy the additional support they may need.
I suggest rather than rewarding efficiency, the funding would be better directed to supporting efficiency.
Again support will possibly be required to enable some providers to see how they may be able to deliver this. I am also very anxious that in my LA no application was made for the Capital Funding to support delivery. I realise sufficiency is a duty for LA’s but may be an additional pot should be made available that providers can apply to directly for both capital improvements and funding for business support.
Q30 – Whilst I support this I feel it should go further to lower the threshold to children who have a lower level of identified need.
Historic arrangements in LA’s will have an impact on how the funds would be administered locally. In my LA the teams responsible for EY provision have been significantly depleted so there may not be sufficient experienced staff to plan and deliver this fairly and effectively.
For reasons outlined above I think LA’s need detailed guidance about the value and allocation of funding to avoid the funds being used ineffectively.
Read the full Consultation document.