New Secretary of State for Education warned of £662 million shortfall in early years education

Commenting on the appointment of Gavin Williamson as the Secretary of State for Education, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said: 

"We look forward to working with Gavin Williamson in his new role, and sincerely hope that with his own comprehensive education and background in business, he will recognise the importance of quality, affordable early years education and childcare for social mobility and for helping parents to work.

"Mr Williamson arrives in his post at a time of crisis in early years education. There is a lot of ground to make up for the massive £662 million funding shortfall following years of underfunding of the government's flagship childcare schemes. With almost 10,000 childcare providers closing for good between 2016 and 2018 and many more anticipating closure in the next twelve months, proper funding is needed to stop the total disintegration of the sector.  We hope the new Secretary of State understands the urgency of the situation, and agrees that the sector needs adequate funding now, as well as an annual review of costs if it is to continue to be able to deliver the government's ambitious childcare programmes."


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