Alliance urges sector to pressure MPs after “less than nothing” funding announcement 

The Early Years Alliance has called on the sector to write to their MPs in order urge parliamentarians to speak to the Treasury and the Department for Education following yesterday’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of new funding for the early years.

In the announcement, made during the Treasury’s Spending Round speech, the government pledged to “increase early years spending by £66 million to increase the hourly rate paid to childcare providers through the government’s free hours offers.”

The funding announcement was criticised by the Alliance as insufficient to cover the real terms cuts the sector has faced since funding levels were set – using an already outdated cost analysis from 2015 – in 2017.

According to Ceeda, because current funding levels don’t take into account significant cost increases - such as rises to the national minimum wage - the early years funding shortfall is now £662 million in the private sector alone.

Yesterday’s announcement represents just 10% of that shortfall – though the Chancellor seemed to indicate during his speech that money would be shared between the PVI and maintained sectors delivering funded hours.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: “Yesterday’s funding announcement was not the serious response to the early years funding crisis the sector had a right to expect.

“In fact, it will be less than nothing to those providers who have endured real terms cuts to funding levels in recent years and will anyway be completely meaningless once next April’s minimum wage increase kicks in.

“I know many providers will be sick to the back teeth of campaigning by now - but we need the government to know that this level of increase is tokenistic and unacceptable. The best way to do that is by asking our local MPs to speak to the Treasury and the DfE about what this means in their constituencies – that is why I’m urging every provider to pick up their pens and ask their MP to speak up for them.”

Template letters and more information can be found on the Alliance’s website: www.eyalliance.org.uk/TakeAction.

Earlier this year the Alliance led an Action Week calling on providers across the country to invite their MP to their setting ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Every MP in England was contacted, with around 100 visiting a local setting and many writing to the Treasury and the DfE to explain the situation and ask for a response.

However, with subsequent political turmoil removing the former Prime Minister Theresa May and upheaving the parliamentary calendar, the spending review was shelved and replaced with yesterday’s shorter and less detailed spending round announcement.

ENDS

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