Whilst the concept of expanding free childcare to include one and two-year-olds appears to be a positive step, as ever, it is important to consider the detail of this announcement and its longer-term impact for early years providers.
The current funding rates provided by the government for a child placement are significantly lower than what it actually costs to deliver the care to that child. Underfunding, alongside external pressures such as rising costs and the recruitment crisis, means that the early years sector is already under a significant amount of pressure.
The extension of funded hours will potentially serve to exacerbate the issues faced already, which could in turn impact upon the quality of childcare being provided. It is imperative that the government review funding in order to make this policy work in the long term.
We have a team of specialist lawyers who provide advice and representation to registered early years, childcare, education and social care providers in relation to compliance, inspections, enforcement action and appeals to the first-tier tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).
If you require advice or support you should seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. For a confidential discussion with a member of our team, please contact us on 0330 175 8202 or complete our online enquiry form.