The cost of childcare is rocketing. Access to places is being squeezed. The funding local authorities receive from the government to deliver free childcare for three and four-year-olds is not enough. And the Tories knew it!
According to the Early Years Alliance, the Tories are paying less than two-thirds what their own figures suggested was needed.
This funding hole is forcing up prices for those not covered by the scheme, leading to a reduction in service quality as providers squeeze costs, and in some cases causing providers to close. Finding a space is increasingly difficult.
Early years childcare needs to be fully funded, publicly owned and access be extended to all parents. Only then will there be high-quality, and affordable childcare for all.