Government publishes 30 hours report

The Department for Education (DfE) have published the evaluation report of the first year of the 30 hour childcare policy. 

report front cover

NDNA are disappointed with the Governments findings on the policy. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “The Government wants to paint a rosy picture but this evaluation of its 30 hours policy highlights a number of alarming challenges, some of which work against the Government’s social mobility aims.

“NDNA is extremely concerned that current childcare policy is extending the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers. Local authority teams have been reduced to ‘critically low levels’ and their budgets already inadequate to support children with SEND or assist low income families to take up the offer. Our members tell us that there is little or no support available to them locally for children who need the most help and for whom high-quality early years education is the most beneficial.

“The report itself highlights that the childcare offer is not “completely flexible or free for parents” due to restrictions put in place by providers trying to deliver places sustainably. Three quarters of private nurseries say that their parent fee is higher than the funding rate they receive and 47% reported their delivery costs had increased as a result of offering the funded places. What we see is that despite these challenges the private and voluntary providers are better placed to offer the flexibility parents need with the majority reporting that they could take up funded places on times and days that suited them. 

“Nurseries will be really worried that a comprehensive evaluation of the policy fails to mention the negative impact that rising delivery costs coupled with stagnating funding rates. If the funding is unsustainable then providers won’t be able to offer the places that the policy needs, putting the whole project at risk. 

“Although it was drawn from a relatively small sample, some of the provider statistics echo NDNA’s own research. We know that the average nursery in England makes a £1.90 loss on funded places. As 80% of places are delivered by private, voluntary and independent providers, it’s crucial that the Government listens to our concerns and those of the people we represent or risk the policy failing completely.”

Read the full report here.