Ministers ‘knowingly underfunding’ childcare sector in England

Early Years Alliance investigation finds government is ‘shamelessly’ driving costs up and quality down

Ministers have been accused of “shamelessly, knowingly” underfunding the early years sector in England over the past decade, driving childcare costs up and quality down, after a two-year investigation by a body representing the sector.

Private government briefing documents uncovered during the investigation reveal that 2020-21 early years funding rates for the Conservatives’ free childcare offer for three- and four-year-olds are less than two-thirds of what the government believed was needed to fully fund the scheme, according to the Early Years Alliance (EYA).

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