Back to Listings

Early years funding falls in real-terms, despite government’s “record investment”

Alliance FOI data reveals that 28% of local authorities have seen a drop in funding rates since 2012
Early years settings have seen a real-terms fall in funding levels between 2012/13 and 2017/18 in more than a quarter of local authorities, according to research from the Alliance. This is despite the government’s “record investment” in the early years.
Freedom of Information requests have confirmed that 31 out of 112 local authorities in England have seen funding rates rise lower than inflation since 2012. This means that 28% of local authorities have seen funding rates effectively drop, despite an addition £300 million in government spending.
The government previously confirmed, prior to the general election, that the current funding rates were due to remain the same until 2020. There are currently no plans to review the rates annually.
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Alliance, said: “The government cannot simply go on pretending that all is fine and that there is no issue with funding. For many years now, so-called ‘free childcare’ has in reality relied on a combination of the goodwill of providers and parents paying above the odds for non-funded hours.”
Neil added: “Clearly we are in uncertain political times, but with ‘free childcare’ pledges featuring in all the main parties’ election manifestos, it’s vital that whatever political changes we might see over the months and years to come, the long-running issue of early years funding is finally addressed.”