You are here: News Response to Secretary of State for Education's ministerial statement on early years funding

The Family and Childcare Trust responds to the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening’s ministerial statement on the early years funding.

Megan Jarvie, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the Family and Childcare Trust, said:

"Getting the early years funding formula right is crucial to supporting a successful early years sector that boosts children’s outcomes and helps parents to work. The quality of the provision is essential to this, as evidence shows only high quality provision narrows the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.

"We are pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of high quality provision and welcome new proposals that allow local authorities to continue to reward quality provision with higher funding rates. However, this alone will not be enough to bring about the improvements across the sector that are needed to genuinely support quality improvement. The Government must start gathering information on the cost of providing high quality provision to inform funding rates in future years.

"Improving the quality of early education is not just about how much funding providers receive per child, but is also about the support that providers receive from local authorities – for example, training and development for their staff, and being able to draw from multi-disciplinary support when a child or family needs it. While the principle of more funding reaching the frontline of delivery is positive, it is important to recognise and fund the vital role that local authorities play in driving up quality locally. We welcome the additional flexibility for local authorities to ensure the supply of free places and would urge ministers to make sure that local authorities can continue to support high quality integrated provision for the most disadvantaged children.

"Levelling the funding rate between providers, whatever their sector, offers an opportunity to also level expectations on the quality and accessibility of the provision. If maintained, private, voluntary and independent providers are all now receiving the same level of funding, we would like their staff to have the same pay and qualifications, and for children with special educational needs and disabilities to be able to access and have a positive experience with all providers.

"The new funding formula also makes important steps forward towards meeting the costs of supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities to access early education. Further steps are needed to provide the specialist support providers need. We look forward to seeing greater clarity on the purpose of the Inclusion Fund, and how local authorities will be supported to make sure it meets the needs of disabled children."


Contact: Mark Bou Mansour, Communications and Campaigns Manager. Telephone: 0207 940 7535, mobile: 07538 334 772, email:

About the Family and Childcare Trust  

The Family and Childcare Trust aims to make the UK a better place for families. We are a leading national family charity in the field of policy, research and advocacy on childcare and family issues, with over 40 years’ experience. Our on-the-ground work with parents and providers informs our research and campaigns. We focus on the early years and childcare because they are crucial to boosting children’s outcomes throughout life and supporting parents to work.