In preparation for this manifesto, NDNA convened a range of focused policy discussions, bringing together early years organisations, researchers, policy think tanks and providers to discuss the biggest issues facing our sector.

This led to the creation of a Blueprint for Early Education and Care published in October 2023. 

Make the First Five Years Count: A manifesto for early education and care

Policy priorities for immediate action


This manifesto builds on the principles of that Blueprint and sets out the sector’s priorities for any incoming Government focussing on:

  1. An early education and care system that’s child-centric, delivering high-quality provision
  2. A funding system that works for all children, families and providers
  3. A system that values and invests in the early years workforce
  4. A regulatory approach that is fit for purpose and proportionate to support better outcomes.



Policy priorities for immediate action

Interactive map: find your constituency data

This mapping tool gives constituency-level profiles of the private, voluntary and independent early education and care sector across England, Scotland and Wales.

Data* includes the funding rates for children’s places, the number of private and voluntary-run nurseries, nursery closures and childcare deserts as well as the workforce at local or regional levels.

Downloadable resources

Share our key early years data for England document with candidates

See NDNA’s general election and manifesto pledges reference guide

Email / letter template to your local parliamentary candidates


Download and amend our letter template to your local parliamentary candidates which you can adapt to include your own circumstances and send out.

Find out who the candidates are in your constituency and their contact details here.

Download template

Share our manifesto with your local candidates


Ensure your local parliamentary candidates understand the essential work that early education and care providers do every day and the challenges you face by sharing our manifesto and resources.

You can tag us on social media with #MakeTheFirstFiveYearsCount at:

Share our manifesto with your local candidates

NDNA puts children at the centre of everything we do

About National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA): onion

Interactive map data*



  • Funding rates by the council was collected by NDNA from local authority responses to FOI requests 
  • Funding rates are up to 31 March 2024 
  • The % funding increase is from April 2024 by local authorities. Scottish Government Guidance says councils should increase funding rates by a minimum of 7.6%


  • 3-4 year old funding rates are set at £5.00 per hour – this is a national rate universal to all council areas
  • Childcare data is at local authority level by full daycare providers