Fife College is under fire from both students and childminders over claims it failed to advise of changes to childcare payments, leaving some parents without funding.
One group of childminders from Kirkcaldy said, some parent students, registered with them for childcare required whilst attending college courses, are yet to receive the benefit almost four weeks after the first payment was due to be made.
Furthermore, it’s claimed, others have been left frustrated over the alleged failure of the college to advise students that funding applications had to be made at the beginning of term.
It’s a situation that, if not resolved soon, could force some young parents way from pursuing college education.
“We have several parents registered with us who have yet to receive any sort of payment or acknowledgement of when they will receive funding and that’s unacceptable,” explained Wendy Logan, a childminder in Kirkcaldy.
“Furthermore that’s leaving some to contemplate whether or not to scrap college altogether in order to work to meet the childcare costs.
“We have people making commitments and sacrifices in order to try and better themselves, and yet being severely hampered by the delays which are supposed to make the situation better, not worse.”
One student, who asked not to be identified in case it further affected their application, told the Press that at no time were they advised of having to make an application.
They added: “I’m not alone in feeling let down by the college.
“There are a good few students in the same situation as me.
“It’s already a challenge juggling childcare and college, and I’ve yet to find out what rate I’ll receive, Students and
“That is leaving me in a difficult situation as to whether I’ll be able to meet the shortfall in payment to my childminder.”
And the college is being accused of not learning from past problems by another Fife childminder, Lynn Sellars, who said: “We see this every year, but this time it’s been worse than ever.
“Nurseries need retainer fees as do some childminders, and we’re seeing some parent students now panicking as they have no way of meeting that cost.
“Payments come direct to us – not the student – but we are still waiting.”
Responding to the claims, a spokesman for Fife College said: “We offer a package of funding for students who require childcare support.
“Our staff are in regular contact with students to ensure they have the information and support they require so that payments to childcare providers can be processed quickly.
“Our published turn-around target for payment to a childcare provider is 28 days from application. Our actual turn-around time is currently less than 14 days.”