Community renew call on government to improve early years funding

The UK Government Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new consultation on a proposed new funding formula for delivering extended funded hours for one and two-year old children, starting from April 2024. The consultation, which runs until 8 September, follows changes to childcare entitlements announced in the Spring Budget.

Responding to the launch of the consultation, Community Union’s National Officer for Education Helen Osgood said:

“This new consultation on the mechanics of the early years funding formula for one and two-year olds is potentially an encouraging step, but ultimately very little can be achieved without an overdue recognition that current funding levels for the free entitlement offer do not meet the cost of provision, and this is placing a huge strain on service providers and rising costs for parents.

Addressing this funding imbalance is a central tenet of the landmark Early Years Charter which Community Union launched last month. If ministers really want to show they are listening to voices from the sector’s increasingly strained frontline, they should adopt the Charter in full.”

Last month Community Union launched its Early Years Charter, which called for increased funding for early years settings to adequately cover costs of service provision, as well as improved wages for staff in recognition of the specialised work they do and to support recruitment and retention into the sector. You can read the Charter in full here.

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Community is proud to be the union for early years workers, representing nursery workers, childcarers, and nannies. With over fifty years’ experience, we represent members and campaign to improve conditions for early years professionals. We are a modern trade union, campaigning for a better working world.

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