Alliance comments on new early years guidance for local authorities

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

"This announcement offers a welcome reprieve to the many providers who had been told by their local councils that they would only receiving government funding for children actually attending their setting, despite the fact that national government guidance currently states that people should remain at home wherever possible.  

"It is vital, however, that the Department for Education ensures that all local authorities do in fact adhere to this guidance when funding providers for the spring term, and that providers do not face a postcode lottery.

"What's more, while we welcome this as an interim measure, we are conscious that means many settings will still suffer a significant drop in income compared to previous years, especially those settings who would normally have seen a large wave of new registrations at the start of the spring term which this year have not materialised, and those who have seen a decline in demand not just this month, but for the past several months.

"As such, we continue to urge the Department for Education to go a step further and commit to funding providers at pre-Covid levels. It is also vital that those providers who are heavily reliant on private income, and not government funding, are not forgotten - they too need urgent financial support if they are to remain viable throughout this crisis and beyond."