Alliance responds to government dismissal of petition on early years funding

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

"It beggars belief that at a time when hundreds of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders are closing every month, the government is refusing to commit to even conducting a review of early years funding.

"Only last week, we released private government documents which prove that the government has not only been knowingly underfunding the sector for years, but that they knew this would increase prices for parents and put quality at risk. Any claims, therefore, about "unprecedented investment into the early years" can only be seen as wholly disingenuous.

"Years of underfunding has left this country with one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world, locking many parents - and particularly, mothers - out of work, and resulting in an early years workforce that is overworked, underpaid and undervalued.

"The dismissal of this petition is incredibly short-sighted and shows a total disregard for our vital sector. Given the strength of feeling on this issue, not only from providers but increasingly from parents as well, we urge the government to urgently reconsider this indefensible stance."

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The petition and full response are available to view here: Commission an independent review of childcare funding and affordability - Petitions (parliament.uk)
  • Private government briefing documents, obtained by the Early Years Alliance after a two-year FOI battle, and published on 15 June, have revealed that early years funding rates for 2020/21 were less than two-thirds of what government officials estimated to be the true cost of ‘fully funding’ the sector. To view the full release on the FOI and the original documents, click here.