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Childcare providers to lobby MPs on 30 hours

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Author: 
Lawler, Rachel
Publication Date: 
18 Jul 2018
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The Alliance has accused the government of turning “a blind eye” to the “devastating impact” of the 30-hours funded childcare offer on the early years sector, as more than 100 childcare providers lobby MPs and peers today.
 
The 30-hours Lobby Day was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Childcare and Early Education, of which the Alliance is a founding sponsor.
 
30-hours lobby day
Providers from nurseries, pre-schools and childminding settings will meet with MPs and peers today in parliament to discuss their concerns about the 30-hours scheme and underfunding for the sector more generally.
 
Since September 2017, three- and four-year-old children from eligible working families have been entitled to 30-hours per week of funded care and education for 38 weeks of the year.
 
However, since its launch the policy has been heavily criticised by early years providers and organisations who argue that current funding levels do not cover the cost of delivering places.
 
Research from independent early years research company Ceeda has estimated that the sector is facing a shortfall in funding of more than £500m a year.
 
“Turning a blind eye”
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “It beggars belief that, nearly a year into the roll-out of the 30-hours, the government still sees fit to turn a blind eye to the devastating impact that this policy is having on early years providers.
 
“Week after week, we are seeing nurseries, pre-schools and childminders across the country having to choose between increasing fees and charges for parents, compromising on quality or potentially being forced to close their doors for good.
 
This is a direct result of the sustained underfunding of early years care and education in this country – and yet all we seem to hear about from government is how great the scheme is for parents. This just isn’t good enough.”
 
Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and chair of the APPG for Childcare and Early Education, said: “This Lobby Day arrives at a critical time for the early years sector.
 
“Childcare providers across the country have already closed their doors, and many more are contemplating closure due to funding pressures and ongoing concerns over the workforce.
 
“With the spending review around the corner, the Lobby Day will allow these challenges to be heard by MPs across the political spectrum. I am sure that the event will be a fantastic opportunity for MPs and early years leaders alike to celebrate the institutions that aim to give every child the best possible start in life.”
 
Cost pressures
Eileen Wilson, manager and owner at Learning Tree Montessori Nursery, added: “We have faced a number of negative changes as a result of the 30 hours policy. With so few families now paying for any additional hours, for the first time we can only afford to open for 38 weeks of the year instead of 44, which has had a substantial financial impact on the nursery and its staff.” 

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Entered Date: 
20 Jul 2018
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