Alliance comments on IFS criticism of DfE's approach to early years funding

A new briefing from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that the government's approach to early years funding during the spring term is "ill-advised" and risks forcing some providers out of business.

Commenting, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

"The IFS is absolutely right to criticise the approach that the Department for Education has taken to early years funding. While basing this term's funding on registered children is undoubtedly preferable to restricting funding only to children actually attending at a time when the public is being told to stay at home, it still falls well short of funding providers at pre-pandemic levels, particularly for those providers who normally enjoy a huge rise in new registrations in January.

"Similarly, the decision by government to limit any 'top-up funding' where demand for places increases throughout the term to 85% of January 2020 attendance levels appears to be completely arbitrary, and the IFS is right to warn that this could place significant financial pressure on providers at a time when they are most in need of support.

"It's clear that government must go further in terms of financial support if it is ensure that the early years sector can remain viable over the coming months. We urge it to do so sooner rather than later."