Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced his Budget today - read his full transcript here
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Chancellor chose to ignore the plight of nurseries in his Budget speech today, instead supporting local pubs.
“This does not fit with his comments that central to this Government’s values is that every child should have the opportunity to fulfil his or her potential.
“Nursery businesses are particularly badly affected by the rates revaluation because they tend to be in larger properties with plenty of outdoor space for children to play. So their business rates tend to be proportionally higher compared to the size of their businesses, with the average rateable value in the UK being about £20,000. Most won’t benefit from his £50 increase cap for businesses coming out of the relief threshold.
“While it is a positive step that local authorities will have additional money to help hard-up cases, there is no guarantee that this will keep any nurseries sustainable. Yet again the Government is passing the buck to local authorities.
“We would urge councils to priorities childcare businesses for this support to make sure there are enough nursery places for 30 hours free childcare.
“The Chancellor has found more money for new school places while leaving the early years sector to continue to struggle. It makes no sense because money invested in early years is worth much more than that invested in schooling as the pre-school years make the most difference to a child’s life chances.
“Nurseries, many of which are small businesses, desperately need help due to years of Government underfunding for free places for 3 and 4-year-olds. The new funding rates being set by local authorities don’t go anywhere near to covering their costs and are fixed until 2020, despite wages other costs rising.
“NDNA will continue to campaign for nurseries to receive full rates relief due to the social good that they offer society in delivering high quality early years education and childcare, which both supports children to reach their full potential and allows their parents to work.
“Our research shows that only half of nurseries expect to make a profit or surplus, with 46% surveyed just breaking even or sustaining losses. When faced with heavy bills and years of Government underfunding, nurseries will regrettably have no choice but to push up fees for parents.”