The Department for Education (DfE) has published the new funding rates local authorities will receive for the delivery of funded childcare places for 2020-2021.

With the new rates all local authorities in England will receive an additional 8p per hour for two-year-old funded places and up to 8p per hour more for three and four-year-old funded places. However, some local authorities will not see any additional funding for three and four-year-olds.

The increase in funding follows the Chancellor’s announcement of an additional £66 million investment in the early years as part of the Government’s spending review.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also confirmed continuation of supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools for 2020-2021.

There has been a mixed response from the early years sector following the announcement on rate increases. Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

“While the Government might argue that any increase in early years funding is better than nothing, the fact is that for many nurseries, pre-schools and childminders across the country, the impact of these new funding rates will be negligible.”

“These providers are facing huge increases in business costs every year: rises in the national living and minimum wages, mortgages and rents, business rates, utilities costs – the list goes on and on. And yet, many have seen little to no increase in funding over recent years, and so an increase of just a few pennies is going to do little to help those already struggling to remain sustainable in the long-term.”

“Childcare providers play an absolutely vital role in caring for and educating children at the most important stage of their development – and yet so many are paid a pittance by Government for doing so. It is insulting, it is demeaning, and it cannot continue. It’s crucial, therefore, that whoever forms the next Government addresses the historic underfunding in the sector and ensures that the early years providers is properly funded, both now and in the future.”

Full details on the latest early years national funding rates can be found here.

Last reviewed 4 November 2019