On 15th March 2023, the Government announced they are helping parents with childcare so they can return to work more easily via a range of new measures.
We are delighted to hear of the increase in childcare support for parents with younger children, which will help our parents with the cost of childcare.
Increasing childcare support:
Working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of subsidised childcare per week, for 38 weeks of the year, from when their child is 9 months old to when they start school.
This will be rolled out in stages:
For us as a provider, the key issue is around what the funding rates are and if all ages will be adequately funded. We welcome the communication on the increase rate for 2-year-olds which the government has announced, and we look forward to further clarity on the rates for 1-, 3- and 4-year-olds.
Another critical factor for us as a sector is that the workforce crisis needs to be addressed. Early Years is facing the worst workforce challenges it has seen, with significantly fewer colleagues joining the industry over the last 10 years. This is an ongoing problem that the sector continues to highlight to the DfE and central government.
Regarding ratio changes from 1-4 to 1-5 for toddlers, we welcome this, but we understand that in practice this would depend on the age, stage and needs of the specific children who are being looked after.
For the government’s new policies to be fully implemented, there will need to be a full overview of the workforce and the level of qualified and unqualified colleagues joining. This will help providers to be able to meet this further demand, which will benefit the economy and families accessing childcare.
Our CEO Clare Roberts is dedicated to supporting and advocating for the early years sector and sits on a lot of policy forums with DFE, Ofsted, and the NDNA, and attends APPG meetings with parliament. In those meetings, the focus is on what wider support the sector needs.
Clare featured in the audience of Question Time: BBC iPlayer – Question Time – 2023: 16/03/2023
“There isn't enough time to recruit enough people doing qualifications to actually deliver it in time with the proposals”
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) March 16, 2023
For information about our current funding options, please visit our Free Funded Childcare page.