Proposals to cut free nursery care for families earning more than £75,000 could be extended to cover States-run nurseries as well as private places.
Education Minister Rod Bryans – who has faced a backlash against his plans to means test the current offer of 20 hours of free care for three and four years olds since it was announced three weeks ago – now says that he will review whether families with children at States-run nurseries should should also have to pay if they earn over a threshold.
The minister, who will face the public at a meeting at 7 pm at the Pomme d’Or Hotel tonight, has also apologised for starting a two-week holiday in Cuba immediately after announcing his plan to cut the free care from September 2017.
The plans announced three weeks ago cover funding offered to parents of children at private nurseries, but would not cover States-run nurseries at schools which would continue to be free, and not means-tested.
Asked by Deputy Simon Bree whether he would reconsider applying the same rules to States as well as private providers, Deputy Bryans said that his department was considering it.
“That is under consideration, we will look at what we have sorted with reference to our own States nurseries,” said Deputy Bryans.
“It will be part of our consideration as we move forward, so we will be looking at both sets of providers.”
The minister also added that there was scope to adjust the proposals.
“There will be room to manoeuver, I will be attending the meeting [tonight] and we will be setting up our own meeting to explain where we are and where the wriggle room is,” he said.
The Deputy also apologised for leaving the Island immediately after the controversial announcement was made.
He said: “I’d like to make a public apology to all States Members and the public at large, I’m deeply sorry that I was away from the Island at a time when my presence was necessary regarding the Nursery Education Fund. I deeply regret that. I am really truly sorry about that and I accept full responsibility.”
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