The Chancellor will conduct a one-year Spending Review on 25 November in order to prioritise the response to Covid-19, and our focus on supporting jobs.
With this announcement, the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has launched its funding campaign urging investment in early education and childcare. This is a crucial time for the sector and to highlight the importance, the NDNA has kicked off its #PlanforJobsNeedsAPlanforChildcare campaign.
The funding campaign asks are:
- An urgent response to Covid-19.
- Get the funding right for early years.
- Simplify the childcare funding system.
The sector has long been plagued by underfunding. The funding levels have not kept pace with the rising costs such as minimum wage levels, pension requirements and inflation, meaning real term cuts in the money providers receive to deliver childcare.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA, said: ‘Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic early years providers have been a vital support for parents as well as providing safe and stimulating learning environments for our youngest children. The childcare sector operates as a fourth emergency service and this needs to be recognised.
‘The Spending Round gives the government the chance to get funding right for childcare providers by recognising the additional costs they have been facing all year, while addressing historic underfunding.
‘This is also about making sure existing funding reaches providers. Hundreds of millions of pounds a year destined for the childcare sector goes missing in wider council budgets or underspends on Tax Free Childcare. Funded childcare support should be simple to use for parents and follow the child.
‘Early years are crucial to children’s life chances and levelling up opportunities across the country. Every pound invested in early years pays dividends in later life.
‘Our asks are simple – nurseries need support now to ensure they weather this storm so they can continue to provide places for children. Secondly, the funding rates should take into account the rising cost of delivery. Finally, parents need a simplified childcare funding system to help them return to work or retrain. All funding should be in one account so that parents can pay their childcare provider directly.
‘We are encouraging members to contact their MPs about these asks and invite them on virtual tours of their nurseries throughout November. This is a great chance to show the value that high quality early education and childcare has for children, families and communities across the country.’