The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has called for the Government to assist early years providers. This is for them to enable their nurseries to be kept open and for costs to be kept down for parents as inflation reaches record high. The NDNA has made the call as Office of National Statistics figures show the consumer price index rose to 10.1 per cent in July. This is the first time the UK has had double digit inflation since 1981. The Department for Education has increased funding rates by a maximum of just 3.8 per cent yet two councils in Scotland have “come close to keeping pace with inflation” and the Welsh government has increased funding by 12.5 per cent. Purmina Tanuku who is the CEO of NDNA has stated
“As inflation soars into double figures pushing up costs, so too does the cost of delivering high quality early education and care,” “Obviously childcare providers cannot keep passing on that cost to parents who are already trying to cope with all their other rising bills. We know that nurseries are doing everything they can to keep costs down for parents, but they need to remain sustainable as businesses too.”
Our nation clearly needs the DfE to respond positively to the calls from Purmina. More of this information can be sought from this piece in the Children and Young People Now magazine written by Joe Lepper. Since she joined the NDNA Purmina has developed the organisation’s infrastructure to support and represent the membership across the UK and she needs to be listened to by the Government constantly but particularly now.
For those of us who would like the Government to respond there is at least one existing e-petition that could be endorsed which is available here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/615604 and the text is as follows. The signatures in the midland are well, but here in Sussex my signature was the sixth signature and our region is not very involved in it as yet. The author is Tanya Jenkinson.
Increase funding to early years settings which support children with SEN
The Government must surely recognise that cutting early years funding for children with SEN will have a detrimental effect on their learning. Research shows that there has been an increase in children with additional needs in speech, behaviour & learning needing support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have worked in the Nursery sector for over 25 years and there remains a significant shortfall in Government funding to early years settings, calculated as £2.60 per child according to the Early Years Alliance. There is an increase in pressure for Early Years to deliver more services and support families, with access to other professional services, such as SEN Auditors and Early years improvement teams, being cut or removed entirely.
Quite right, and the DfE underfunding of early years is particularly bad in Brighton and Hove. A flaw in the national formula results in the hourly rate for 3 and 4-year olds being the lowest of any unitary authority in the South-East, while that for 2-year olds is based on the lowest band in England, 4% lower than funding in Southampton and Bristol and 10% lower than in Reading
Many thanks for your very helpful contribution Peter.