Alliance responds to new EPI report that shows progress in closing disadvantage gap has stalled in the early years

Commenting on the Education Policy Institute’s Education in England Annual Report 2019, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said: 

“We have warned the government for some time of the potential damage to social mobility because of the £662m funding shortfall in early years education. We already know that childcare providers in deprived areas are twice as likely to close as those in affluent ones – often because poorer parents cannot afford the voluntary extras or private hours that providers are forced to charge to make up for the lack of adequate funding. Not only has underfunding plunged the early years sector into crisis, today’s report shows how it risks harming the children who most need quality, early years education to keep pace with their more advantaged peers.

“This should be a wake-up call to the government, and an urgent priority for the new Children and Families minister. We need urgent action to reverse the widening disadvantage gap, and this can only be done through proper funding of the government’s flagship childcare schemes.”


Notes to editors 

 A digital copy of the report can be found here. The report is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Tuesday 30th July 2019.

About the Early Years 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 member settings 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