Major Concerns at Childcare Funding Shortfall #earlyyears

A new report has shown that government funding falls short of covering the amount needed for every child accessing free childcare.

Counting the Cost: An Analysis of Delivery Costs for Funded Early Years Education and Childcare, carried out by social and market research agency Ceeda and commissioned by the Pre-School Learning Alliance, demonstrates that government funding pays for only four out of every five children accessing free early education places.

The Alliance is also warning that childcare cost rises could be imposed if the growing funding gap is not closed.

Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said: “This research demonstrates what we in the sector have been saying for many years now: government funding for the free entitlement offer does not meet the cost of providing places.

“Chronic underfunding has left us with a free entitlement scheme in crisis; one where many childcare providers are reliant on fundraising and the work of volunteers just to stay afloat.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education argued: “The cost of childcare is falling in real terms and we have increased annual funding for early education by over £1 billion since 2010.

“We are doing more than any other government to tackle the cost of childcare, with a record amount of money going to support the youngest children.”

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jackie hyde