On the 16th December, the Department for Education announced the Early Years funding settlement for the year 2023-24, once again leaving the Early Years Sector to struggle to stay financially viable with below inflation rate increases being announced.
An additional £10m for the least well-funded Maintained nursery schools and £20m for the Early Years National Funding Formula is welcomed, but overall does nothing to address the increasing financial strain of the sector nor the recruitment and retention crisis.
Sadly, it is our young people who will bear the brunt of this failure, with no investment in high quality early childhood education, life-chances will be severely affected as a result, particularly those in the most economically challenged areas.
Although no new money was provided to the Early Years Sector in the Autumn statement, the DfE did make available £20m of funding for Early Years, intending to use this to support providers with National Living Wage costs associated with the delivery of delivering funded early years entitlement spaces, although these increases still remain well below inflation, adding extra pressure to an already stretched and under-funded sector.
Read more on this here.