Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Early Education for 3 Year Olds in Wales

So tomorrow the baby turns 3 and in Wales, all children have the right to a free, part-time, early education place in an approved setting in the term after their 3rd birthday. which means all children aged 3 and 4 are entitled to receive a minimum of 10 hours a week, for around the same number of weeks as the normal school year. An approved setting may be a school, cylch meithrin, playgroup, day nursery or childminder who is part of a quality assured childminding network. Parents are not expected to contribute towards the costs of these places, however parents may be required to pay for any services or childcare on top of the free education part-time place. 
***Information taken from Early Education***

But the problem is, despite her turning 3 tomorrow, she is not entitled to free childcare until April!!!

They say it begins from the term following her 3rd birthday. So I would take that to mean that the term begins from the day the children return to school, which is on the 7th January this year and means that she would be entitled to it straight away, but that if they had returned to school today (the 2nd) then she wouldn't be entitled to her free hours as she wasn't 3 when they returned to school. 

But they have the cutoff date of the 31st December, meaning that only a child turning 3 before the 31st December is entitled to free hours in January and that all other children have to wait until the 1st April. A little boy who attends the baby's playschool turned 3 on New Year's Day, which is a day that they never return to school on, yet by missing out by 1 or 3 days, neither my baby or this little boy is eligible for a free child place. It also means that all children who turn 3 after March the 31st are not entitled to a free place until the September, meaning that their parents never have a free playschool place as the child attends school in September in the nursery class.

Why can't it be that each child is entitled to the free place from their 3rd birthday? Why must it be the term and if it must be the term, why can't it be when the term actually begins??? 

So for the next 3 months I have to carry on paying for my daughter to attend playschool, which means that she can't go every day as I can't afford to send her and that for the sake of a few days, she misses out!!!


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