According to a survey published today from the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), one in five full daycare nurseries are not planning to deliver the government’s 30 hours entitlement. Just five months ahead of the roll-out, this will leave 50,000 children without places – and PACEY’s research indicates that this number could be much higher.
Our recent Building Blocks survey revealed childminders are significantly less likely to offer funded places to 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds than group settings.
It also showed that while nearly 40% of early years professionals say their setting is likely to offer 30 hours of free early education and childcare, around a third say they are not and another third say they do not know.
Worryingly, nearly half (49%) of childminders surveyed said the reason why they didn’t offer funded places was because no parent had asked for a place, indicating a lack of demand from parents.
The key findings from NDNA’s annual nursery survey 2017* found that:
- One fifth of nurseries are unlikely or definitely won’t offer 30 hours and only 44% say they will participate, 35% don’t know just five months ahead of rollout
- 85% of nurseries are underfunded, with the average loss per child per year £958 for 15 hours funded childcare
- More nurseries (83%) than in previous years plan to increase their fees, with the average rise being 4.5%
- The number of nurseries expecting to make a loss has almost doubled since 2016 from 9% to 17% – only 43% expect to make a profit or surplus
- Increasing staff wages is the single biggest challenge nurseries face, with payrolls due to rise by a further 7% average
- More nurseries expect to be forced to employ younger and less qualified staff to reduce these staffing bills
- Business rates are going up for the majority of nurseries, with the average rateable value rising by a quarter
- Rising costs will increase the funding gap, as rates are frozen until 2020
- Inadequate funding and pressure to deliver 30 hours will threaten free places for disadvantaged two-year-olds, with 10% reducing two-year-old places
*The survey elicited responses from 788 nurseries across England.