This summer, The Department for Education will consult with the sector on how funding for 15- and 30-hours childcare will be distributed, including the expanded entitlement for children from the age of nine months.

During the Education Select Committee on 9 May, the children’s minister Claire Coutinho confirmed that the Government will be issuing a consultation imminently on how funding for the expanded free entitlement for working parents of children from nine months old will be distributed.

Expansion of the childcare offer for working parents is planned as follows:

  • April 2024: 15 hours for all two-year-olds
  • September 2024:15 hours for all children aged nine months and above
  • September 2025: 30 hours for all children under the age of five

Ahead of the summer holidays, the DfE will also consult on funding rates for 2024/25 and how two-year-old funding is distributed, as well as confirm the 2023/24 rates.

Early Years Alliance Chief Executive, Neil Leitch commented “There’s no question that it would have been much more beneficial if the DfE had engaged and consulted with the sector before announcing the expansion in the Budget. If it had it would have realised the extreme pressure it was likely to place on a sector already under considerable strain. And, as the outcome of the ratios consultation shows, the Government must not just listen to the sector’s concerns and still charge ahead with changes regardless, but make sure that any sector-specific plans reflect what is best for the sector and, importantly, the child.”

NDNA Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku said, “We need more action on the current staffing crisis, funding, business rates and VAT if providers are going to be able to deliver the funded places that the Government is offering to parents from this time next year.”

The full story, as reported by Nursery World can be read here.

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