Alliance calls for urgent funding review after election
By Rachel Lawler
The Alliance has called on the new government to commit to a review of funding rates for the early years, after the Conservative party won a majority of 78 in the election.
Ahead of the election, independent experts Ceeda estimated that the Conservative party’s existing childcare offers and manifesto pledge to increase the National Living Wage would leave the early years sector with an annual deficit of £824 million by the end of the next parliament.
The Conservative party manifesto promised £250 million a year for “at least three years” and a £250 million “capital spending boost” for wraparound childcare – which is believed to be a reference to after school and holiday care.
The party also previously pledged to increase the National Living Wage to £10.50 an hour by 2024.
Ahead of the election, the Alliance asked early years providers and parents to contact their local parliamentary candidates about the early years funding crisis, resulting in thousands of emails to prospective MPs.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "Childcare providers may have been hoping for a change of direction for the sector as a result of this election. Sadly, with the Conservatives failing to commit to any further funding for the early years, many will still be concerned about the future and long-term viability of their businesses after last night’s result.
“This government could leave the sector facing an £800 million funding shortfall by the end of this parliament that will further increase parent fees and force more providers to close. We can't go on like this – we urgently need funding levels to cover the true cost of delivering childcare and a firm commitment for them to be reviewed annually."