National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) welcomes the Government’s consultation on extending free childcare which aims to find practical solutions to delivering the commitment of 30 hours for three and four-year-olds.

One aspect is allowing funding over extended nursery opening hours and stretching of the funded hours across the year rather than term time only.

NDNA’s Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE, said: “NDNA has been very clear that the quality of early education in nurseries should not be compromised by offering more free hours.

“While the key to this project is ensuring the right amount of funding gets to the nursery front line, we have also called for the practicalities of delivering funded places to work for nurseries, local authorities and parents.

“We are pleased that the Government has acted upon our recommendations to look at establishing model agreements between the nurseries and local authorities to minimise bureaucracy.

“The consultation also seeks to encourage prompt payment, something which NDNA has highlighted in successive survey reports.

“It is vital all children can benefit from quality childcare so we welcome the focus on children with special educational needs and disabilities. However providers need the right support and funding to ensure their entitlement to funded places are fully accessible.

We will be speaking with our members to inform our formal response to this consultation.”

Alongside the consultation, the Government is carrying out a review on reducing red tape.

Purnima added: “We agree that reducing red tape for providers is a good thing but quality of early education must remain paramount. NDNA looks forward to working closely with the Department for Education in shaping the future of the 30 hours delivery.”

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