Alliance responds to Labour childcare proposals
Please find below a comment from the Early Years Alliance responding to Angela Rayner's speech at the Labour party conference.
Rayner said: “We will deliver a renewed Sure Start programme, Sure Start Plus. Alongside it, we will introduce a new service: free nursery education for all two to four year olds. Not childcare on the cheap, to get parents back to work, but an early education service, led by professionals, designed to develop the whole child.”
Commenting on Labour’s proposals, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:
“Proposals to create more funded hours and reinvest in Sure Start would mean more children have access to a quality early education. It’s an offer could transform the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children and should be welcomed by anyone interested in social mobility.
“That said, even without seeing the detail we can be confident these proposals represent an unprecedented financial commitment to early education spending. And that will concern childcare providers, especially when thousands have closed in recent years, many as a direct result of governments overpromising ‘free’ childcare in elections and underfunding in delivery.
“No more “childcare on the cheap” sounds like a promise to address that - but it’s very light on detail and the early years funding shortfall stands at almost two thirds of a billion pounds. Broadly speaking, these proposals represent a move in the right direction but, without a firm commitment to ensure funding matches the true cost of delivery, the sector will struggle to take them seriously.
About the Alliance
- The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
- The Alliance represents 14,000 members and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
- The Alliance website is www.eyalliance.org.uk