Alliance urges sector to take action after funding announcement
By Rachel Lawler
The Alliance is calling on the early years sector to put pressure on MPs after yesterday’s funding announcement.
Yesterday, the Chancellor announced £66 million of additional funding for the early years as part of the Treasury’s Spending Round. The money will be used to increase the hourly rate paid to early years providers who offer the government’s funded childcare hours.
The announcement has been criticised following real-terms cuts to funding and rising costs, including the minimum wages.
According to independent experts Ceeda, there is currently a £662 million funding deficit in the private early years sector alone. The funding announced is due to be shared across all providers, including the maintained sector.
In response, the Alliance is asking people from across the sector to get in touch with their MPs, urging them to speak with to the Treasury and the Department for Education about early years funding.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the 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.”
Earlier this year, the Alliance invited providers and parents to take part in a week of action, which saw MPs visit early years settings across the country to discuss the early years funding crisis ahead of the planned Spending Review.
Every MP in England was informed about the campaign, but following Theresa May’s resignation and the political turmoil that followed, the review was downgraded to a less detailed Spending Round.
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