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PACEY responds to National Association of Head Teachers warning on nursery places in schools

The National Assocation of Head Teachers (NAHT) has published a report today - An Early Years Place for All: The NAHT Childcare Bill Report, which examines the challenges and opportunities posed by government proposals to increase the provision of free childcare to 30 hours per week.

Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary said: “We support the aspiration to offer extra free childcare to working families and we believe the plan can work but the government now needs to keep to the commitments it has made about looking at funding and consulting with providers – otherwise some families could lose out.

“Many of our members have been telling us for some time that they are running their nurseries at a loss, subsidising them from their regular budget at a level that is not sustainable in the long term. The government has to work with us to make sure that the policy becomes one that schools can actually deliver.” 

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, has responded to the report by saying: "We wholly support the NAHT’s recommendations to the Department for Education, following the publication of their report An Early Years Place for All, today.

"The NAHT’s findings very much mirror those of our own Building Blocks report published earlier this year, in its call for adequate funding to support the Government’s planned expansion of free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds.

"If we are to have a high quality early years sector in this country, then we need to ensure that parents have a range of options, including those provided by the private and independent childcare sector, alongside school-based provision. We know from our own research that partnerships between schools and other childcare settings can deliver real benefits for children and families.

"But it is not just about funding. We are also calling for the Government to implement a comprehensive workforce strategy that supports childcare professionals across all settings. A highly incentivised and trained workforce lies at the heart of giving children from all backgrounds the best start in life."