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Government responds to Treasury Select Committee report

By Rachel Lawler
 
Childcare funding treasury select committee
The government has responded to the Treasury Select Committee’s childcare inquiry report, which was published in March.
 
The Treasury Select Committee had called on the government to review the hourly funding rate for childcare providers to ensure that it meets rising costs.
 
Cost of childcare
The government’s response said that the hourly funding rate for three- and four-year-olds “compares very favourably with published independent research into the hourly cost of childcare”.
 
The government also said that the Department for Education (DfE) would continue to monitor delivery costs.
 
Inadequate funding
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “It beggars belief that in the face of such overwhelming evidence that the childcare sector in England is inadequately funded, the government continues to dig its heels in and insist that everything is fine.
 
“All the government has done here is regurgitate old excuses in an attempt to defend the indefensible. The Treasury Committee’s report explicitly criticised the practice of comparing local council funding rates to frontline provider delivery costs, describing it as ‘misleading’, and yet ministers have done exactly the same thing once again in this response.
 
Flawed research
"Worse still, the government continues to peddle the line that current funding levels are based on a childcare cost review that 'the National Audit Office described as "thorough and wide-ranging"', completely failing to acknowledge that this description was based at least in part on the understanding that the review included delivery cost data from thousands of childcare providers, which it didn't.
 
"Early years providers do an incredibly important job for little recognition and even worse pay. When serious concerns are being raised across the board about the way that the sector is being funded, they deserve more than the woeful response that the government has seen fit to issue to this report."
 
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