Alliance comments on childcare report

16th January 2015

Commenting on’s third annual childcare report, which found that 49% of parents don’t feel the government are doing enough in terms of childcare support, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:,/p>

“We agree that the government must do more to support parents struggling with the cost of childcare - but it’s important to recognise that short-term solutions, such as the new tax-free childcare scheme, are not simply enough. The government must tackle the underlying cause of childcare cost rises: insufficient sector funding.

“Our research has shown that the free childcare scheme is underfunded by around 20%, a shortfall that has left many early years providers with no choice but to increase the cost of paid-for hours. As a result, we now have a situation where parents are continuing to struggle with childcare costs, while providers are still forced to rely on fundraising and the work of volunteers to stay afloat, and cannot afford to pay staff much more than minimum wage.

“This cannot continue. It is time for the government to accept that, if it wants to build an affordable, sustainable, quality childcare sector, it must invest what’s needed.”

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Notes for editors

  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:

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