Disappointingly, there was no direct mention of money to help the early years sector despite rising costs. However further funding was announced for schools.
NDNA will continue to lobby Government with and on behalf of members on issues which will affect the sector in the coming years:
Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “Today’s Budget will be a real kick in the teeth for the early years sector. Ministers are well aware of the impact of rising costs on nurseries but have chosen not to offer support at this crucial time. Our research shows that nurseries are losing thousands a year because of underfunding of the 30 hours policy which is seeing businesses close at an alarming rate.
“The Government continually fails to address the impact of increases to minimum and living wages on the childcare sector. Instead of funding keeping up with above inflation wage increases we are seeing it stagnate and in some areas, it is going into reverse. From April the National Living Wage will rise to £8.21 an hour, a 4.9% increase which Government funding simply doesn’t account for.
“The Chancellor’s forecast of 800,000 more jobs by 2023 is good news but only if people have childcare available that allows working parents to take up these jobs. While there was an extra £400m for schools there was nothing announced for childcare providers despite the immediate pressures many are feeling.
“If the Chancellor can find almost a billion pounds to help small shops, restaurants and cafes and even more for public toilets he can find the money needed to give a real lifeline to nurseries. These are the settings that care for and educate our youngest children, allowing parents to return to work and yet they are being hit by the triple pain of chronic underfunding, rising costs and unfair taxes.”