The Chancellor announced today in his Autumn Statement the outcome of the government’s childcare funding review which pledged an extra £300m for childcare and early years.
Key features of the announcement include:
- In order to claim the 30 hours of free childcare, an upper income limit per parent of £100,000 will apply
- Parents must also meet a minimum weekly income level equivalent to 16 hours (worked at the national living wage) to access the additional 15 hours of free childcare offered to 3- and 4-year-olds in working families from September 2017.
- The rates for providers have been agreed at £4.88 for 3 and 4 year olds and £5.39 for 2 year olds.
- The Government will introduce a national funding formula for schools and early years that will be rolled out from 2017-18
- £50m capital funding will be available to create additional early years places in nurseries
PACEY's Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, said,
“The Government’s commitment to uplift the funding level for the free entitlement is good news for childcare providers. PACEY’s contribution throughout the funding review has pointed to the severe underfunding of the sector so we welcome the Government’s recognition of this.
“What is most important is that this funding gets through to childcare providers, so we are pleased that the Government has agreed to look at a national approach for setting funding rates. We are also looking forward to working with Government to removing other barriers which make it particularly difficult for childminders and smaller group settings to sustain their businesses, such as delayed payments, and removing red tape.
“The next step is to ensure that Government follows through on its commitment to support the early years workforce. We look forward to sharing our ideas for how to support practitioners to continuously develop their skills and knowledge so that they can do the best for the children in their care – and also how to support providers to work together to provide the 30 hours so parents get the choice and flexibility they need.”
The outcome of the funding review has just been published and we will post further information as soon as we know more.