NAHT report on 30 hours free childcare

Responding to the NAHT report on 30 hours free childcare Jenny Coles, Chair of the Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee, said:

“The greatest opportunity to make a tangible difference to a child’s life occurs when they are very young, between 0-5. Access to high quality education in the early years is important, not least because it plays a crucial role in reducing the outcomes gap between the most and least disadvantaged children.

“Local authorities are working with providers to deliver 30-hours free childcare for working families with three and four-year olds. However, this report finds that current funding levels, in most cases, do not cover the costs of delivering the additional hours. More than two thirds of respondents state they are having to cross subsidise from other parts of their budgets, with others forced to ask parents to pay for meals, nappies and trips to meet shortfalls. What is most concerning for our members is emerging evidence that the 30 hours policy is adversely impacting disadvantaged children with non-working parents. These are the very families that could benefit from access to an additional 15 hours free childcare and it would contribute significantly to improving social mobility. As it stands, this policy offers a couple earning up to £199,000 more help than a lone parent studying, working part time or full time on a zero-hour contract. Reducing the income threshold would helpfully narrow the policy to focus on the most disadvantaged children and families and ensure that in times of austerity the funding available is spent on those most in need.”


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