Nurseries face escalating funding gap for free childcare offer

The funding gap for nurseries to deliver the government free childcare initiatives has more than doubled over the past year, according to a survey of providers.

The vast majority of providers said current government funding for three- and four-year-olds does not meet their costs. Picture: NDNA
A survey by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) found that government funding for each three- and four-year-old in their care is now £2,166 short of the actual annual cost, compared with a funding gap of £958 last year – an increase of 126 per cent.
The NDNA survey found that 87 per cent of the more than 700 providers said that current government funding for three- and four-year-olds does not meet their costs.

In 2018, nurseries receive an average hourly rate of £4.25 for each three- and four-year-old, which is on average £1.90 less than the cost to nurseries of providing their care.
While in 2017 the funding was less, at £3.94 an hour per child, the average shortfall that year was also lower, at £1.68 per hour.

The increasing funding gap is largely down to the expansion of free childcare entitlement. Last September, the government doubled the free childcare entitlement for working parents of three- and four-year-olds from 15 to 30 hours. Read more.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 100 other subscribers

Follow us on Twitter