Nurseries face funding gap, according to survey
In England's most deprived areas, nurseries are facing increased risk of closure due to a funding gap, according to the Early Years Alliance.
The charity's report concluded that, out of 350 nurseries who participated in the survey, 17 per cent in the poorest parts of the country were preparing for closure over the next year.
Despite the government's expenditure of £3.5 billion per year on early years education, many nurseries continue to experience financial troubles, with some going as far as reducing food quality to compensate.
At present, the average amount given to local authorities for each childcare place is £4.98, which the EYA suggests is inadequate.
Government is increasingly recognising the pivotal importance of early years education, and it was on this basis they introduced the free 30 hours of care for children whose parents are working.
Linda Symons of London-based Kidz Kabin told us: "The government doesn't know the costs to nurseries: the high costs of staffing, pensions, utility bills, updating resources, council tax, rent, among other things.
"As the cost of living increases and wages go up, the government are effectively cutting the funding to unsustainable levels.
"Maybe it's time to change the formula and provide a contribution to fees and admit that the childcare is not free.
"If the government continues to fail to plan for changes, they are planning to fail the sector for future generations of young children."
The Department for Education is responding to the controversy by saying that their early years national funding formula distributes funding "fairly and transparently".