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Government admits shortfall in supply of childcare places for 30-hours

Spring Budget documents reveal places will “rise more slowly than originally assumed”
The number of available childcare spaces for the 30-hours offer may not be sufficient to cover demand, according to policy documents released by the government.
The Spring Budget: policy costings states that the government has “made a small adjustment to the expected reduction in tax credits and associated welfare spending from the introduction of 30 hours of free childcare for working families, where it seems likely that the supply of places will rise more slowly over the first two years than originally assumed”.
This comes shortly after DfE statistics revealed that 10,000 fewer providers plan to offer the 30-hours, compared to those offering the existing 15-hours. Earlier this year, 54% of local authorities also said they were unsure if their area had adequate childcare places to deal with the increased demand in September.
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Alliance, commented: “These Budget documents show that the government knows full well there is going to be a problem with the supply of 30-hours places, so there is no excuse for inaction. If this issue is not addressed urgently, many parents expecting to be able to access their ‘free places’ in September are going to be left sorely disappointed.”