Alliance comments on findings of Coram Childcare Survey 2021
The Early Years Alliance has commented on Coram's 2021 Childcare Survey, which has found that the average cost of childcare has risen at above inflation levels, and that 35% of local authorities have reported a rise in permanent closures of childcare providers during the course of the year.
Commenting, Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said:
"It is no surprise to see the cost of childcare continue to rise above inflation, as providers struggle with increased covid-related costs such as cleaning, overtime and staff absences – with no additional help from government. Added to insultingly low levels of early entitlement funding and a continued fall in the demand for places, it's clear that many nurseries, pre-schools and childminders will have had no choice but to pass these costs on to parents.
"The government continues to ignore widespread calls to base early years funding on pre-pandemic attendance levels during the spring term, but with 35% of local authorities reporting an increase in closures, and attendance still low, it's clear that this decision must be urgently reversed. Given the significant and ongoing underspend on the tax-free childcare scheme, there is no doubt that the government has the financial means to provide the support the sector so desperately needs, should it choose to do so.
"If ministers fail to step up and invest what is needed to protect the sector, there is no doubt that more providers will be forced to close, putting the ability of parents to return to work and in turn the recovery of our national economy, as well as children’s vital early development at risk."