Nearly one in five nurseries in deprived areas of England are facing closure within the next 12 months due to the early years funding shortfall. Independent research agency Ceeda found that 17 per cent of childcare providers in the most deprived areas of England anticipate closure in the next year – only eight per cent in the most affluent areas face such a prospect. In addition, 43 per cent of providers admitted to making savings by cutting back on learning resources, while 19 per cent said they had lowered the quality of food they give to children. Childcare organisations said the findings revealed the deepening funding crisis affecting the sector and called for urgent action from government. Ceeda’s report, which combines analysis of provider’s opinions and financial information with government data, revealed that the early years funding shortfall has risen by almost £50m in the past year to £662m. Read more.