The Department for Education has been told to disclose details of how it calculates early years funding levels by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following a lengthy freedom of information dispute. Current national funding rates for the childcare sector were first published by government in 2015 and came into effect in 2017. They are used by councils to calculate the rate they pay early years settings to deliver government-funded childcare provision. There have, however, been ongoing concerns that childcare providers are not receiving enough to cover their true costs, with early years research company Ceeda estimating that the early years sector in England is currently facing a funding deficit of £662m. Read more.