Submit your view to the Spending Review
A guide to submitting Spending Review representations for early years providers
The Comprehensive Spending Review is a large-scale review of government spending which takes places every three years.
The next Spending Review is due to take place in autumn 2020 and is an opportunity to ensure that the early years receives the financial support it needs to remain sustainable over the coming years.
The Treasury is current accepting written submissions, or ‘representations’, from individuals, businesses and organisations on what its spending priorities should be over the next three years.
In response, the Alliance has developed the below guide to submitting a representation to support early years providers who wish to do so.
The deadline for submissions is 24 September 2020
Top tips for your submissions
- Keep it brief: the officials dealing with representations will be reading a high volume of submissions, so it is useful to keep yours concise and to the point.
- Make sure it is evidence-based: the more facts and figures you can use to support your argument, the better. If you are talking about underfunding, explain how much it costs to deliver a place and how this compares to your funding rate. If you are operating at a loss, say exactly how much of a loss, and over what period. The more specific you can be, the better.
- Be clear: not everyone has a detailed understanding of the early years sector and how it operates, so be as clear as possible in your language, and try to avoid any jargon and acronyms that someone outside the sector might not understand.
An example of how to structure your representation
Overview of your setting or provision
Introduce your setting, providing key details such as:
- the name of your provision (if applicable)
- where you are based
- how long you have been operating
- how many children you offer places to and of what ages
- what funded entitlement offers you deliver, if any
- any particular areas of support you offer e.g. do you deliver care to a high number of children speaking English as an Additional Language, or children with SEND? Do you offer any unique support to local families?
- Explain the financial position of your provision before coronavirus: were you making a profit, breaking even or operating at a loss (provide as much specific detail here as possible)?
- If you were operating at a loss, explain why: is this due to a lack of early entitlement funding? If so, how much was the shortfall, and what impact did this have on your provision.
Impact of lockdown
- Outline the impact of lockdown on your provision.
- If you stayed open for key workers and/or critical children, how much did your occupancy reduce by and what was the overall impact on your provision.
- If you temporarily closed, what costs did you continue to incur and what was the overall impact on your provision.
- What wider impact did lockdown have on your provision – for example, the inability to market your provision via tours, the cancellation of fundraising events etc
- What impact did the timing of lockdown (i.e. the summer term) have on you – is this when you would normally have highest occupancy?
- Did you use any government schemes e.g. Job Retention Scheme, continuation of early entitlement funding, business grants etc
- If you did use these schemes, what impact did these have?
- Were there any schemes you were unable to access, or could access but not fully? If so, what impact did this have on your provision?
- If you have opened more widely since the easing of lockdown, what occupancy levels are you seeing? Is it better or worse than expected, and what impact is this having on the financial position of your setting?
- What financial impact has operating in a pandemic had on your settings – such as additional cleaning costs, PPE, operating with ‘bubbles’ if you are doing so.
- Outline any new challenges you are facing and the financial impact this is having on your setting – for example, delays with coronavirus testing leading to staff absences.
- Explain what the next six months is likely to look like without any additional government support.
Outline what you would like the government to do to support your setting and the wider sector in:
a) the short-term (i.e. the next six month) to ensure your provision can survive the coronavirus pandemic
b) the long-term (i.e. the next three years) to ensure that your provision can remain sustainable over this period.