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30 hours at risk of impacting quality of early years education

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) have released a report about how the 30 hours funding is impacting school-based early years providers. Four hundred and twenty five people responded to the survey with the majority of respondents being leaders of a primary or infant school with a nursery class (73%) and a fifth (20%) led a maintained nursery school. 

Key findings

  • Almost four fifths of respondents (77%) said that they were delivering the 30 hours free childcare offer.
  • Less than a fifth (19%) said that the funding they received was sufficient to cover their costs.
  • More than two-thirds (70%) said that they were cross subsidising from another part of the school to enable them to offer the additional hours.
  • More than a quarter (28%) said that they had not yet received their funding for the hours provided in the previous term. Only 40% had been paid by the end of the term in which the additional hours were provided.
  • More than four-fifths (84%) of providers reported that they or their parents had difficulties using the system to access parental codes.
  • Almost four fifths (78%) said that 10% or fewer of the children accessing the 30 hours were entitled to the early years pupil premium.
  • Nearly all respondents (96%) said that they offered the 30 hours during term time only and only 8% had a partnership with another provider to extend the offer for working parents.
  • More than three-quarters (76%) indicated that they only offered the entitlement during school hours.
  • Almost nine out of ten (87%) said that they probably would or, definitely

NAHT's recommendations 

  1. The government should revisit funding rates to ensure the costs borne by providers are fully covered. Settings should not have to rely on cross subsidising or increasing other costs to make up for the shortfall
  2. The government should ensure providers receive funding in a timely manner. The financial stability of providers should not be compromised by delayed payments
  3. Government should carry out a full evaluation of the impact on those children excluded from the policy if we are to avoid reversing the success of the 15 hours' free early education offer
  4. The government should improve the infrastructure and IT that supports this policy, so it is easier to both obtain and validate eligibility codes.

Find support for 30 hours from PACEY.