Alliance announces Action Week to call for fairer funding
The Early Years Alliance has today called on the sector to join together in the fight for fairer funding by taking part in an Action week starting on 10 June.
The Action Week aims to ensure childcare providers engage with every MP in England about the early years funding crisis in the lead up to the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year.
The campaign is calling for the government to increase funding levels to ensure they match the true cost of delivering quality childcare; and to commit to annually reviewing funding levels to ensure they keep pace with rising delivery costs.
Costs for childcare providers – especially in the form of increases to the national minimum wage, business rates and new pension contributions - have risen sharply in recent years but funding has simply not kept pace.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Year Alliance, said: “Enough is enough: there’s funding shortfall of over £615 million in the early years and, unless something changes, that figure is only going to get worse. I hear every week from providers who have closed or are on the brink of closing and yet, despite all the evidence, ministers have continued to deny there is a problem.
“The Comprehensive Spending Review represents the best chance we’ve had so far to make the case to the decision makers in Westminster who hold the purse strings. We need to grasp it with both hands and ensure every politician in England knows about the early years funding crisis and has asked the Treasury to do something about it.
“That is why I’m urging everyone in the sector, whether or not you’re a member of the Alliance, to get involved in the Action Week. Make the case for fairer funding to your local MP: invite them to your setting and offer to meet them. Do whatever you can to get your voice heard. The Alliance is there to support you with resources and advice - but this is down to you. Add your voice to the Action Week and let’s work together to ensure funding covers the true cost of providing quality childcare.”
Current funding levels were set following a cost analysis in 2015 using data already two years old. These funding levels have been frozen by the government until 2020 – if nothing changes before then providers will receive funding based on data that is eight years old. Research from early years experts Ceeda found the funding shortfall is now more than £615 million – a figure that is only likely to have grown in the intervening months.
During the Spring Statement in March the Chancellor confirmed that the Comprehensive Spending Review would begin this summer and conclude before the Budget. Reviews like this generally take place every few years to allow the government to set out its spending priorities in both the short- and longer term. The Chancellor has previously confirmed he was ready to listen to MPs who approached him with ideas for what government’s spending priorities should be.
Providers, practitioners and parents can sign up to the campaign by visiting www.eyalliance.org.uk/fairfuturefunding.
Participants will receive a campaign pack, followed by regular updates and advice on how to engage with their local press, politicians and communities in the lead up to 10 June. The Action Week itself will have various activities across the five days, culminating in local events on Friday 15 June when providers will be encouraged to arrange to meet with their MPs or invite them to their setting to discuss the funding crisis in more detail.
Alongside the Alliance's usual Facebook and Twitter channels, the campaign's social media activity will be based on the hashtag #FairFutureFunding and at the Twitter account @FairFutureFund.
About the Alliance
- The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
- The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
- The Alliance website is www.eyalliance.org.uk