Conservative manifesto: Alliance responds

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

“Promises of business as usual like this will mean little to those providers struggling to make ‘free childcare’ work.

“Even as we have seen soaring costs in wages, pension contributions and business rates, early years funding levels have remained stuck at what they were when they were set in 2015. That underfunding has plunged the sector into crisis, creating a huge and growing shortfall of two thirds of a billion pounds and forcing thousands of providers to close.

“Perhaps it was too much to expect a serious conversation about the future of the sector during this election – but that is what is urgently needed. Instead, we’ve had offers of more ‘free’ hours from the other political parties and this loose change from the Conservatives. Providers can’t go on like this: we need funding rates that cover the true cost of delivering childcare and a firm commitment for levels to be reviewed annually.”


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