Following the publication of the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF) the sector press reported how early years organisations felt, even with the additional government investment, the revised hourly rate still would not be sustainable for settings.
But at PACEY we took a different stance.
We felt then, and still do, that the EYNFF has demonstrated real progress, and actually demonstrated that the Government has finally listened to some of our key concerns.
No childcare provider is now expected to deliver childcare for less than £4 per hour, previously the proposed rates meant 20 local authorities would receive under £4 an hour. And the benefits of high quality childcare are being recognised, with the quality supplement reinstated.
A PACEY survey showed that out of 1,788 respondents just 55 childminders were charging £6.50 or more an hour. The vast majority (80%) were charging £5 or less. Meaning the increased funding, plus potential supplements and additional cost of consumables brings is more in line with their market rate.
The challenge now lies with local authorities to ensure that the funding reaches early years providers on the front line, but there is definite progress. While there is still much uncertainty around 30 hours, the one things that is a given, is that parents will want to use their entitlement. Our Chief Executive Liz Bayram has written an opinion piece for Nursery World which encourages childminders to stop and think before they rule out delivery of 30 hours.
So while we still need to understand how local authorities translate the EYNFF in their area, there is clearly a potential opportunity for some childminders to think about delivering the free entitlement, and you can read more a personal account from PACEY Childminder Sally McGeown in today’s issue of Nursery World.