Back to Listings
Government invests additional £50m in capital grants for providers
OnApr 12, 2017
Additional investment said to create 9,000 new places ahead of the 30-hours roll out
The government has announced that it is investing a further £50 million in capital grants for childcare providers.
Settings who were not awarded grants in the original oversubscribed round were reconsidered for a second round of funding, and the Department for Education has today confirmed the successful projects.
The grants are designed to help providers create an additional 9,000 places ahead of the 30-hours roll out this September. This takes the total number of childcare places created through the capital funding scheme to 18,000.
The government has estimated that it will require a total of 390,000 places to deliver the scheme to all parents wanting to access it from September onwards. However, independent research undertaken by Ceeda commissioned by the Alliance previously estimated demand will reach 500,000. A recent survey conducted by the Alliance also suggested that just 44% of childcare providers are currently planning to offer the 30-hours at their setting, compared to 95% who were offering the 15-hours offer.
Early years minister Caroline Dinenage said: “This investment will deliver more childcare places to working parents, giving them the benefits of 30-hours’ free childcare while giving their children high-quality early education that sets them up for life.”
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, welcomed the extra funding to support the sector but expressed concerns about the number of extra places still needed. He said: “Instead of adopting a drip-feed approach to early years investment, where relatively small pots of funding that only ever have a limited impact on the sustainability of the sector are announced every few months, government needs to look at the so-called ‘free entitlement’ offer as a whole and honestly reflect on how – and if – it can be funded properly over the long term.”