The increase in National Living Wage ‘likely to spell disaster’ for the EY Sector
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has pledged to increase the National Living Wage to more than £11 an hour could be a disaster for the Early Years sector.
Unless funding rates increase in line with this increase in salary, many settings could be forced to close.
Speaking at the Conservative Conference in Manchester, the Chancellor committed to accept recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, announced in November, this would see the National Living Wage for people aged 23 and above rise to more than £11 an hour from April 2024.
Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance Chief Executive, said ‘“While we absolutely support the principle of all staff receiving a fair and reasonable wage, the fact is that without adequate government funding, this increase in the national living wage is likely to spell disaster for the early years.”
Leitch’s concerns were supported by Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of the National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) who said “Since it was first brought in almost eight years ago, the National Living Wage will have gone up by 53% and yet the hourly funding rate that the government pays to providers has only risen by 23% in the same period.”