Greater investment in high quality childcare will improve the life chances of disadvantaged children

NDNA supports the findings that greater investment in high quality childcare will improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.

The Family and Childcare Trust report “Creating an anti-poverty childcare system” funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation centred on delivering more, high quality childcare for children in low income families.

NDNA’s Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE said: “This report highlights the fact that good quality childcare makes the most difference to the poorest children in helping to reduce the gap with their more advantaged peers and supporting their parents to work.

“We fully agree with their call for a step-change in investment in childcare to benefit poorer families and society in the long term.”

The report also states that more two-year-olds need to take advantage of the funded 15 hours that they are entitled to, but as the report concludes, areas of deprivation tend not to offer as much choice in early years education. It is difficult for nurseries to offer high quality early years education and funded places because there is a chronic shortfall in funding for these places.

Purnima added: “Nurseries in deprived areas are struggling to be sustainable – they need the right level of funding to have more graduate leaders and be able to offer more two year old places. Our latest figures show that nurseries in England lose an average of £712 per year per funded two-year-old child adding up to a loss of several thousands of pounds per year which is not sustainable.

“In more affluent areas, nurseries have to push up fees that parents pay for additional hours to balance the books.”

FACT’s report suggests a more stream-lined funding system and salaries equivalent to school teachers for the highest qualified nursery practitioners.

Purnima said: “NDNA has been campaigning for a long time for a simplified funding system. The Government is setting up an online account for each child for tax-free childcare from 2017 and we have proposed that all streams of childcare funding use this system so parents can choose which provider to use and pay them directly.

“We would welcome an increase in the Early Years Pupil Premium for disadvantaged children – if this was in line with primary school funding, that would benefit pupils and help to level the playing field between schools and nurseries for early years funding. This would also address the inequalities with salary levels.”

No comments :

Post a Comment