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Expansion of funded early education places – an update

Following the April 2024 expansion, we have again surveyed local authorities about the expansion to funded early education entitlements to find out how they are going and how confident they feel about the upcoming delivery of the remaining two phases.

Key findings:

  • Local authorities confidence in readiness for the September 2024 expansion has increased from 28% to 41% since our last research in January. However, this still leaves nearly 6 in 10 either not confident or unsure if there will be sufficient places.
  • Confidence in readiness for the final phase of the roll-out in September 2025 is much lower, with just 11% reporting that they are ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that there will be enough places to meet demand. This figure is little changed from our report in January 2024 (12%).
  • The vast majority of local authorities (75%) report that their biggest concern in delivery of the remainder of the childcare expansion is the local workforce – three times higher than any other concern.
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Our research and advocacy focuses on making Britain as supportive of fulfilling family lives as possible, and on holding central and local government to account for doing all it can to remove barriers for families. By revealing new insights into family life in the UK and formulating innovative solutions, our research aims to push the envelope on how families are supported in the UK. 

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