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.