£66m in additional early years funding announced
By Rachel Lawler
The Chancellor’s Spending Round, announced today, promised an additional £66 million in funding for maintained nurseries and other early years settings providing the government’s funded hours.
It is not yet clear exactly how this money will be distributed or who will qualify for the additional funding. However, the Treasury has said that the funding will be used to increase the hourly rate paid to providers for its funded childcare offer.
The additional funding amounts to less than 10% of the £662 million estimated shortfall in funding for the PVI sector alone.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “The early years sector has been holding its breath, waiting desperately for some reprieve from years of government underfunding. While any extra money is welcome, the £66 million announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for early education will not make even the smallest inroad into bridging the £662 million funding gap in the sector.
"We are nearing a tipping point where parents will no longer be able to bear the increase in fees and optional extras that childcare providers are forced to charge to subsidise the funding shortfall. Many childcare providers have already reached that tipping point and have closed for good.
"On today’s news, expect more childcare price hikes and more closures.”
Schools and SEND
The Spending Round also revealed an additional £7.1 billion for school budgets in the next three years and an additional £700 million to support children with SEND. The Chancellor also promised that teachers' starting salaries will rise to £30,000 by 2022-23.
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