The BBC is reporting that a charity has recently claimed that as nurseries receive less funding from the government, childcare costs could “sky-rocket” in some parts of England.
A quarter of councils are set to see falls in government funding when the free 30 hours scheme starts in 2017, the Pre-School Learning Alliance says. It adds that the new rates will then be frozen until 2020, even though the cost of providing places is set to rise.
Ministers say funding was being allocated “more fairly” across England. All three and four year olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, but from September 2017, working parents will be entitled to an extra 15 hours a week, in school term-time, for each child.
The DfE has raised the hourly rates it pays to local authorities, who then pass that on to childcare settings, as an average across the country, but not all areas are getting a raise.
Chief executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance Neil Leitch said: “The government has tried to sell next year’s funding changes as a solution to all the concerns about the 30 hours offer, but this simply isn’t true.”
“With a quarter of all local councils seeing a fall in funding next year, childcare costs in those areas are likely to sky-rocket as childcare providers face a choice between either raising fees or going out of business.”
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena
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