Details of the Early Years Supplementary Grant 2023 to 2024 has been published today by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Department for Education
The government has confirmed that from September 2023, funding rates per child will increase from an average of £5.29 to £5.62 for three-and-four-year-olds, and from an average of £6.00 to £7.95 for two-year-olds. The funding increase has been driven by a £204m increase, announced in March’s Budget.
The news comes ahead of the expansion of the early entitlement offer to children from nine-months by September 2025. From April 2024 eligible working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 “free hours” per week of early education and care. In September 2024 the 15-hour offer will be further expanded to children from nine-months old, increasing to 30 hours per week by September 2025.
Response from Neil Leitch, Chief Executive, Early Years Alliance
“Government has grossly underestimated what early years providers need”
“While we welcome clarity on what the average funding rates will be from September, it’s clear that the increases confirmed today will do little if anything to address the years of underfunding that has devastated England’s early years sector.
“Given that government’s own figures show that there is a £1.8bn shortfall in the existing three-and-four-year-old offer, how can anyone argue that a mere 6% increase in funding will come anywhere close to easing the pressures facing the sector, especially in the face of sky-high rates of inflation?
“Clearly, the government has grossly underestimated what early years providers need to both keep their doors open and continue to provide high-quality education and care. While we recognise that the plans for funding the new one- and two-year-old offers have yet to be confirmed, the fact is that funding must be adequate across the whole early years system for the sector to be able to remain sustainable, and from today’s announcement, it’s clear that this simply isn’t the case.
“Simply put, today marks yet another disappointment for the early years sector, and for parents hoping to be able to access affordable early years provision for their children in the coming year and beyond.”