Alliance comments on coalition government policy review report

27th January 2015

Commenting on the findings of a new report on the impact of coalition government policies on children and families, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said:

“This report highlights just how much more needs to be done to ensure that families — and particularly poorer families — are being adequately supported.

“Continued real-term cuts in childcare spending are placing early years services under significant strain and, in turn, impacting on the availability, affordability and quality of the services available to families. A growing number of children’s centres — a vital source of support for many parents and children — now offer little more than a skeleton service, while a sustained lack of adequate free entitlement funding has meant that many childcare providers are struggling to stay afloat.

“The government has repeatedly cited support for families as one of its top priorities but, as this report highlights, this has simply not been reflected in their childcare policies to date. While demand-side initiatives such as the tax-free childcare scheme may offer limited support to some families in the short term, greater investment into the sector is needed to ensure that families have access to high-quality, affordable, sustainable services in the long term.”

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Notes for editors

- Real spending per child on early years, childcare and Sure Start fell by a quarter between 2009 - 2010 and 2012 - 2013 (from £2,508 to £1,867).
- Tax-benefit reforms hit families with children under five harder than any other household type.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE

  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website: www.pre-school.org.uk

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