Early years funding warning

Additional funding is needed to support all early years’ providers for the period of the coronavirus crisis if enough childcare places are to be available for families who need them, the LGA has warned.

More than 69,000 early years providers have temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic, with many citing financial difficulties as a key reason. Among those that have remained open, many are operating at a loss.

Early years settings have been asked to provide the same support to vulnerable children and key workers as schools. While schools are fully funded, however, early years settings are not because much of their income comes from paid parent fees. These fees have fallen dramatically as most parents have kept their children at home.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Childcare providers have been a vital part of the nation’s response to coronavirus and councils have been working closely with them to ensure that vulnerable children and critical workers have the childcare they need.

“While providers have been asked to step up in the same way that schools have, their costs have not been covered in the same way.

“Having enough childcare places will be essential to support families and get the economy moving again as emergency measures are eased. It is, therefore, vital that the Government urgently provides additional funding at a national level to ensure early years providers can remain open.”

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