A number of nurseries across the city of York have refused to take part in a free childcare pilot, claiming the payable rates do not cover their costs.
The government is currently trialling an election manifesto pledge to double the amount of free childcare to which the parents of three and four year-olds are entitled, from 15 to 30 hours. The scheme is due to go live from next year.
York was amongst eight locations selected for a trial which is scheduled to begin this September.
But approximately 30 of the 45 nurseries and childcare providers across the city have now pulled out and refused to participate, Children & Young People Now reports.
Participating organisations will receive £3.95 per child for each of the additional 15 hours, and £3.38 per child for the first 15 hours. The nurseries and daycare centres who have refused to take part say they need £4.50 per hour to properly fund the expanded entitlement.
Ken McArthur is chair of the local branch of the local National Day Nurseries Association. He told Children & Young People Now:
“We expected the pilot to be a genuine attempt by the government to analyse what will happen when the pilot is rolled out nationally, and York is the only one to pilot the whole area. Everyone was enthusiastic before the funding rates came out, and wanted to be involved in the early implementation.”