National Day Nurseries Association has just published a report on the Government's proposed 30 hours free childcare provision and how it will be funded. NDNA's chief executive Purnima Tanuku said, ‘The nursery sector is fully behind the principle of more support for parents. But serious funding shortfalls stand in the way of nurseries getting on board, despite their desire to help families with free childcare.
‘Private, voluntary and independent nurseries deliver most of the Government’s free places, currently 15 hours per week for all three and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds.
‘But the nursery sector is reluctant to commit to offering more free hours when they already make a significant annual loss – an average of £34,000 per nursery (or £1.68 per child per hour) – on the funded places they currently provide.’
Julia Margo, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said, 'The availability of expanded free early education for three and four year olds is absolutely crucial to helping parents who work or want to move back into work. In the short-term, the Government needs to make sure childcare providers get adequate funding so they are able to offer these extra hours. But without more radical reforms, the childcare system will not meet the needs of too many parents, children, childcare providers, employers, or the wider economy.'
Source: Catherine Gaunt, Nursery World / NDNA report
See also BBC News report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education-35587685