Alliance welcomes Labour education funding announcement
12th February 2015
Commenting on Labour’s pledge to protect education funding in real terms, including the early years, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:
“The first five years of a child’s life are vital to their long-term learning and development, and so it’s crucial that when we talk about giving children the best start in life, we recognise that this means more than just statutory schooling. As such, we warmly welcome Labour’s pledge to protect the entire education budget, including the early years, in real terms.
“That said, it is important to recognise that the early years sector is already starting from a position of significant underfunding - recent research from the Alliance revealed that government funding currently only covers the cost of four out of every five ‘free’ childcare places. As such, protecting the early years budget against future cuts, while positive, is only one piece of the puzzle - existing funding shortfalls must also be addressed as a matter of priority if we are to ensure the provision of high-quality early years services in the long term.”
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Notes for editors
- The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
- Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
- For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website: www.pre-school.org.uk