Budget 2017: no support for early years

In today's Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond has offered no support to nurseries facing challenges of rising business rates and frozen or reduced funding, says NDNA.

The Chancellor revealed that the National Living Wage would rise by 4.4% from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 per hour and National Minimum Wage would rise in line with Low Pay Commission recommendations.

On business rates, a cost that nurseries are particularly struggling with, he offered no relief.

National Day Nurseries Association’s (NDNA) Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE said: “This Budget has increased the business costs that private, independent and voluntary nurseries must pay and done nothing to alleviate the challenges that the sector is facing.

“With significant rises in National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage taking place in April, along with 1% pension contribution increases and 3% inflation, nursery businesses are expected to deliver 30-hour funded places on paltry frozen rates announced yesterday.

“The Chancellor has given a clear message that this government is not interested in properly investing in early years and just expects the sector to get on with it while faced with all these increases. NDNA will continue to lobby the government to address this appalling situation until a fair hourly funding rate and business rates relief for nurseries are forthcoming.”

In future, business rates revaluations will take place every three years and rises will be aligned to Consumer Price Index, not the Retail Price Index.

Find out more about the Budget pledges here