Ratio reduction would be better in some aspects

THE proposal for an increase in children to practitioner ratio is to aim to reduce childcare costs to parents.

I can agree with the fact that it would make it better in some aspects however I do feel that under ones should remain on the one to three ratio. However to reduce childcare costs to parents they need to reduce the running costs for the provisions.

At present childcare settings are unable to register for VAT which results in the fact that they cannot recover any costs. Everything the provision uses from toilet paper to drawing paper, electricity to powder paints all are VAT.

Schools are zero rated for VAT which enables them to claim it back, which includes the pre-school nursery attached of which also usually work on the 1:13 ratio as there is a teacher.

In addition to this the provisions are also eligible for taxation on profits, on the same level as any other business.

Childcare providers are restricted on the maximum turnover due to floor ratio and staff ratio, so on a busy year we may be turning people away and the following year be running at 50 per cent capacity. Yet we are not able to reclaim our tax to ensure the provision can keep running.

The Early Years Educational Entitlement for two and three-year-olds, is funded by the local council but the rate is below the cost of the provider so they are forced to charge more to the paying parents.

The provisions are expected to have a SENCO (special education needs co-ordinator) who must attend training courses regularly and be available for individual children, yet this is to come out of the provisions turnover.

Provisions are to attend meetings with others professionals such as social services which means a practitioner is required for cover (costing the provision to pay for two staff for one ratio) yet there is no funding for this.

PENNY WHITE

Manager

ABC Family Nursery