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30 Hours - Little Cranes Response 

“As much excellent and free provision for as
many children in our community as possible.”

Little Cranes Pre-School opened in September 2016 and is already a busy and thriving Pre-School. As part of Cranfield Church of England Academy’s Ethos and Aims, the Pre-School endeavours to ensure the school motto of “enjoying, achieving and learning” for all of our children.

In 2016, it was announced that councils across the country can deliver 30 hours of free childcare for parents of 3 and 4 year-olds who fulfil certain criteria. All 3 and 4 year olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, as are 2 year old children who fulfil certain Government-set criteria.

All settings must decide how many of the 30 hours they are able to offer to parents and this will be impacted upon through various considerations such as staffing, current pupil numbers etc.

Little Cranes Pre-School is very popular. We currently have 77 pupils over the course of a week with each session full to capacity. This includes our additional lunch club from 11.30 – 12.00 of up to 32 places. As a result, we are not always able to offer the current 15 funded hours to some families and certainly are unable to always provide ‘preferred’ session times. As a result, we have decided that offering 30 funded hours will, overtime mean that current pupils increase their session amounts and as a result, leave us turning more children away due to being at maximum capacity.

We strongly believe that it is our Pre-School duty to offer as much excellent and free provision for as many children in our community as possible. We believe that offering 30 hours free funding will result in a significant decline in our capacity to do this and as a result, leave children unable to attend our setting at all.

To support eligible parents in receiving some advantage at Little Cranes Pre-School, we will be increasing the funded hours by 3 hours for all eligible parents of 3 and 4 year olds who wish to take them. This will mean that these parents are able to utilise an additional 3 funded hours (currently costing £12.00) where waiting lists allow. Families of eligible children who currently attend more than 15 hours and pay for additional hours, will have paid hours amended from September 2017 to acknowledge the additional 3 funded hours (up to a total of 18).

The decision process to reach this point has involved research and collaboration with other settings. We are confident that parents in the community, when informed of our reasoning, will support our belief that as many children in our community as possible deserve as much free provision as we can provide. All children deserve the opportunity to enjoy, achieve and learn.

We encourage Little Cranes family members to ask if they have any questions and look forward to continuing to offer excellent Pre-School provision for the children in our community.