Disappointing budget ignores early years sector 

The 2018 Autumn Budget has been announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. Some of the points of the 2018 budget will have an adverse effect on nurseries.
Philip Hammond MP

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: 

  • Economic forecasts suggest that there will be an extra 800,000 jobs in the economy by 2023. This will mean growing demand for more childcare places if parents are to be able to return to work.
  • £400m capital money for equipment announced for this financial year for schools - on average, £10,000 per primary school and £50,000 per secondary school. This is ‘one-off’ money does not affect the overall schools budget but could have been used to support early years.
  • £900m business rates relief for small retail businesses like shops, restaurants and cafes who have rateable value under £51k. This relief will  give them 1/3 off their business rates bill. NDNA strongly believes nurseries should be exempt from unfair business rates and this would come at a much lower cost to Government.
  • Business rates relief for public lavatories 
  • Universal credit is here to stay. Extra money will be made available for claimants moving on to Universal Credit so working parents on older benefits will gradually be moved onto Universal Credit. 
  • National Living Wage to increase from £7.83 to £8.21 from April
  • National Minimum Wage will see an above inflation increase

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.”