child using till

Committee of MPs recommend more oversight of childcare expansion

Following the National Audit Office’s report into the planning for the funded childcare expansion, the Public Accounts Committee has concluded its own inquiry.

Due to the General Election being called the inquiry was cut short. However, MPs have published their recommendations to the Department for Education (DfE). These include:

  • An urgent review of the milestones to ensure the implementation is on track
  • Build a clear understanding of whether the funding being offered is helping providers to expand
  • Take a holistic approach to the workforce, including a long-term strategy and delivery plan
  • Monitor whether the policy is delivering its intended outcomes
  • Set out a clear plan to track the impact of the expansion on access for disadvantaged children and those with SEND
  • Continuous monitoring of the impact of the expansion on quality and plan to act if there is evidence that quality is being impacted

NDNA submitted evidence to both the NAO and the Public Accounts Committee based on providers’ experiences of the expansion and our own research with the sector.

NDNA’s Director of Policy and Communications, Jonathan Broadbery said: “The first five years of a child’s life really count so more investment and focus on giving children the best start in life has to be welcomed.

“The recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee are important as we need to see funding decisions that ensure providers are sustainable. This is the only way to ensure they can offer the high-quality, affordable places that make a difference to children and families.

“At the heart of that is the early years workforce so it is vital we see a clear workforce strategy to help providers meet the staffing needs of the future, while giving staff a clear and rewarding career path.

“The expansion of early years has to benefit all children regardless of where they live or their backgrounds. Too often providers tell us that they cannot access enough support to meet the needs of children with SEND and we know that settings are more likely to close in areas of deprivation. Addressing historic underfunding is crucial to opening up access to early education and care places.”

  • England

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