London Councils has submitted a response to the government’s consultation on Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds.
Key messages from the response are:
- We welcome the recognition of the regional differences of fulfilling this potential by using a General Labour Market cost measure to underpin an Area Cost Adjustment (ACA). This measure provides a fairer reflection of real staffing costs to the sector, London Councils has and continues to call for this ACA to be applied to the schools and high needs NFF.
- We welcome that the majority of London boroughs will benefit from a much needed and appreciated uplift in their hourly rate but, at the same time, 9 local authorities will have funding their reduced despite tackling similar challenges to stimulate the childcare market. London Councils is opposed to the funding reduction for these boroughs and calls for their hourly rates to be protected.
- The childcare market in London is a mixed economy; different providers have different costs when offering free childcare places that need to be met. It is important local authorities have the appropriate flexibilities to fund free childcare places in all local settings to ensure their long term sustainability including maintained nurseries
- Proposals to place a cap on central spend will limit the ability of local authorities to provide support and training to sector, in line with their statutory duties.