I can’t say I particularly know what went on this week. I spent most of it in a daze as Small Boy decided to wake up very early three days in a row and I was a zombie for most of it. One 2.30am start had me drinking Red Bull at my desk at 8am. That was a weird day – I was coming out with lots of ideas all morning and then hit a wall by 3pm and had to go home while I was still safe behind the wheel of a car. But even in the blurriest weeks there are wins to be hard and small triumphs to celebrate! Understanding the childcare offer in Wales In Wales, all children are entitled to 15 hours free early education provision from the term after their third birthday. Now many people take this up at a maintained nursery attached to a school. You take a 2.5 hour session per day. You can only take one session per day so to get the whole 15 hours you must send your child every day. The provision is only during term time so you have to find childcare for holiday , and of course you have to sort something for the rest of the day too, including wrap around care that will pick your child up from state nursery or drop them off depending on the time of day your sessions are. Needless to say this just isn’t practical for most parents, including us. Completely confused by our unhelpful local authority website and hearing lots of queries from other parents, I did a quick phone and email around nursery schools and private nurseries that offer the funded places to consider alternatives. Some private nurseries are able to offer the 15 hours funding, but it’s important to note it is up to 15 hours. It’s really five sessions of 2.5 hours, each sessions is less than a standard session at private daycare so you have to pay the balance for the part day or the rest of the full day if you want it. Not all nurseries register with the authority and given that they only get paid less than £7 per session are you surprised. It doesn’t make any business sense. There one nursery on our doorstep that offers the grant, which in practice means a saving of just under £7 per day! We only get the full 15 hours (or 5 sessions) if he’s in for five days, we can’t compress them across a few days. We are now considering what to do and whether for the amount of money saved we are best to just leave Small Boy where he is till he’s five and just keep paying the full fees. Money isn’t the only thing to consider though, we need to identify what the difference is if any in education and development between these offerings. This was a win for me this week because there is no clear information available on…

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