WBG Response to Coram’s Childcare Survey

Date Posted: Tuesday 19th March 2024

Budgetcost of livingEarly Education and Childcare

Responding to Coram’s Childcare Survey published today, Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the Women’s Budget Group said,

“Coram’s pivotal Survey confirms our warning calls. The Government’s failure to fund the expansion properly and pay providers what it actually costs to deliver those hours, has put pressure on the sector and exacerbated the challenges of access and affordability of early education and childcare for parents

“Across all areas of provision, availability continues to plummet. With part-time nursery costs for under twos rising by 7% since last year, now averaging £158 per week, families up and down the country are feeling the squeeze amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

“We are now counting down the days until the Government’s expansion of state-funded early education and childcare begins to roll out. It was encouraging to hear the Chancellor commit to index payments for funded hours for the next two years in the Spring Budget, announcing an investment of £500m. However, uncertainties persist regarding the methodology for these calculations and whether they will adequately cover providers’ actual costs.

“Today’s findings serve as another urgent reminder to get the maths right on this. We have calculated the gap between what the Government funds settings and what it costs to provide each place currently adds up to around £2bn a year for 3- and 4-olds and up to £5bn in total for the full implementation of the expansion plans in September next year. If the Government fails to plug this funding gap, next year’s Survey Findings will look even worse.”

Read Coram’s Childcare Survey here.