Voice statement on DfE announcement: Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds

Date: 11.08.16
Voices’ response to the Department of Education announcment on early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds.



11 August 2016

Statement on DfE announcement: Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds


Voice, the union for education professionals, welcomes today’s publication of the Government’s proposals for changes to early years funding.

Early years has, for far too long, lagged behind other education services in terms of being adequately funded.

A fairer funding formula is long overdue and should ensure more equitable access to good quality childcare across the country.

However, we note that the Government’s proposal for a universal base rate of funding fall significantly below the current market rate.  This means nurseries are likely to lose out if they switch from parent-paid hours to government-funded hours, in spite of the Government’s promise to distribute funding more fairly between different local authorities. 

There is a risk that shortfalls in funding will lead to a deterioration in the quality of childcare as providers find it difficult to pay competitive salaries for qualified staff and make arrangements for ongoing training and development. 

Sufficiency of funding is paramount, so careful monitoring needs to be put in place so ensure that changes in funding are in step with what the sector needs to ensure survival and sustainability.  The financial cushion of a maximum of 5% annual reduction in funding is much less favourable than that being promised to the school sector and is likely to see some nurseries struggle to survive as austerity continues to bite, in spite of rises in the minimum wage and the national living wage, utility bills and employer’s contributions to workers’ pension and national insurance payments.

Voice will be consulting with its members to provide a full response to the Government’s consultation and looks forward to working with the Government to ensure that funding is sufficient and sustainable for the whole early years sector.




Voice Press Office
Email: pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk

General Secretary Deborah Lawson
Email: deborahlawson@voicetheunion.org.uk

Tel: 01332 372337