School nurseries should open 10 hours a day, says Education Minister

The Telegraph is reporting that Education Minister Liz Truss has called for school nurseries to routinely open for 10 hours each day to offer working parents more “flexibility and choice”…

Liz Truss said that schools make up a third of the childcare market, with 800,000 early years places, but claimed that they are currently too inflexible and if they extended opening hours to 8am-6pm it would revolutionise choice for parents.

Schools are able to charge parents for the additional hours to recover costs but many do not take advantage of this option, said the Department for Education.

Speaking at the Family and Childcare Trust, Ms Truss said: “Schools nurseries are an underappreciated part of childcare.

“Half of London places are provided in schools, and they make up fully one-third of the national childcare market – some 800,000 early years places.

“But the hours are sometimes inflexible. Most only do 9am-3pm. That’s if parents are lucky. Just imagine if they did 8am-6pm. That extra four hours a day – two-thirds more time – it would revolutionise parents’ options. We want to encourage that model.”

…Deborah Lawson, General Secretary of Voice, the union for educational professionals, said that the idea of school nurseries offering longer hours was introduced by the Labour Government under the every child matters scheme.

She questioned why schools would take up the idea now with no new incentives when they were facing changes in funding and increasing pupil numbers which threaten the accommodation currently used by the nurseries…

“Under this announcement staff could end up working longer hours and more weeks in the year and there will be employment implications.”

She said that the Department for Education needed to put “an awful lot more meat on the bones” and make clear how the scheme will work for schools and families, adding: “If they weren’t taking this up when there were new incentives through the Early Years Single Funding Formula, why should they take it up now when there are so many changes to school funding?”

More at:  School nurseries should open 10 hours a day, says Education Minister

Is this a good idea in principle and, if it is, is it  viable for schools to offer a service like this under the current funding model? If your/your child’s school nursery offers 8-6 childcare, please let us know how well it works in the comments or via twitter…

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  1. FionaSheikh

    SchoolsImprove trussliz with all we know about crucial development 0-3 years – why would this ever be a good idea 🙁

  2. MinoHedgehog

    SchoolsImprove trussliz useful for the parents. My nursery was opened 12 hrs/day, but was v expensive. We shld offer care for every pocket

  3. redbaronski

    SchoolsImprove trussliz why doesn’t office culture move to fit around children/life outside work rather than vice versa?

  4. businessgp

    redbaronski liveotherwise SchoolsImprove trussliz because office ‘operators’ don’t have that ‘issue’ so don’t/can’t empathise.

  5. itsmotherswork

    rattlecans It was the right choice at the time for the whole family. I didn’t do that commute every day but for the days when I did, I…

  6. itsmotherswork

    rattlecans The job was in the centre of London. It would have been unaffordable to live there. And my husband worked somewhere else.

  7. itsmotherswork

    rattlecans Since that time I’ve had four different jobs. My husband has had 3. We’ve stayed in the same town and the children have been…

  8. A_BoxOfRain

    itsmotherswork rattlecans But choices here are constrained & many of the most interesting jobs are predicated in someone else looking…

  9. itsmotherswork

    rattlecans …stable in their nurseries / schools and now at secondary school.
    My commute secured their stability.
    It’s what I chose.

  10. sally_bobs

    redbaronski itsmotherswork SchoolsImprove trussliz agree! Appalling.My kids need their mum, food & bed as much (more) than I need work

  11. akindoftrouble

    itsmotherswork redbaronski SchoolsImprove trussliz we can put people into space but can’t sort it so families can eat breakfast together

  12. redbaronski

    itsmotherswork SchoolsImprove trussliz thank you – importance of demands of workplace always placed above all else. Why?

  13. Angry_Teacher_

    SchoolsImprove Another barking mad idea from politicians. Adults wouldn’t be in work for this long, 3yr olds having a 50hour working week!!

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