Fairer funding for Early Years, fairer services for children
We are calling on Sam Gyimah, Nicky Morgan, Priti Patel, our local MP’s, the Department for Education and all local authorities to deliver an Early Years Funding review which secures a fair amount of money for all providers across the country, allowing them to deliver the quality care that children deserve.
For this to be the case we require resolution to two important considerations:
a) A national funding formula that rids the industry of historical inaccuracies that result in some children receiving as little as 38%(*1) the amount of children in other areas of the country
b) Legislation that means funding is distributed wholly & equitably to all providers within the local authorities. Currently some local authorities retain as much as 50%(*2) of the money received for the children’s early education and pay as much as 75%(*3) more for children in certain school settings.
If the money continues to be distributed in the unfair and discriminatory way that it is at the moment, many providers will withdraw from the funded places, or worse, will close down all together. Both possibilities resulting in a generation of children without access to a good early years education and therefore left behind developmentally and set up to fail throughout their schooling.
We are calling on parents, providers and all those working in early years to support our campaign for a more equitable system to be developed during the Early Years Funding Review in July 2015. Please sign up now if you want a better deal for all of our children.
(*1) Data taken from the Early Years DSG Guaranteed Units of Funding (2015-16), a version of which containing a full breakdown of the funding provided to all local authorities is available here. The highest paid authority is Camden, receiving £9.17 per hour per child. The highest paid authority outside of London is Salford, receiving £6.71 per hour per child. The lowest paid area is Solihull, receiving just £3.24 per hour per child. Averaging these figures out gives us £4.54 per hour, a figure many early years providers can only dream of receiving under the current system.
(*2) A recent industry led analysis suggests that one hour of quality childcare costs £4.53 per hour per child, the average currently received by local authorities is £4.54. Unfortunately, local authorities are allowed to distribute their funding as they choose, resulting in an average loss to the providers of over £800 (NDNA Survey). A figure that could double with the increase to 30 hrs of funded childcare. Some authorities retain more than others, in the example above Camden actually only pays out £4.58 per hour per child to its PVI providers (Data taken from S251, Excel 500 kb). This means children are missing out on as much as £2600 a year which could be used to provide educationally beneficial activities and the high quality of education and childcare they all deserve. Other authorities are subsidising this essential service from other budgets – giving them a shortfall in other equally essential areas. For example, Worcestershire local authority are paid £3.40 per hour per child from the Department for Education but are giving £3.60 to the PVI providers.
(*3) In many local authorities there is a significant difference in the funding between PVI nursery providers and school nursery provision. For example, Birmingham pay their PVI providers £3.59 per hour per child and their Nursery Schools £6.30 per hour per child, which is over 75% more (S251 Birmingham). Children deserve to receive a high standard of education at all ages making this discrepancy both unreasonable for the PVI sector but damaging to children’s early education.
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