Scottish nurseries face financial ‘uncertainty’


Nurseries across Scotland have urged councils to make a decision on the hourly rates they will pay to early learning and childcare providers.

Only a quarter of local authorities have enough holiday childcare this summer


Just over a quarter (27%) of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare available to meet the demand of parents working full-time in their area, new research has shown today.

Slash ‘red tape’ to reduce childcare costs, think tank says


Government should reduce the amount of regulation governing childcare in order to reduce the economic impact of high childcare costs, think tank says.

Cost of nursery up £1,500


The average family now spends nearly £1,500 more on a nursery place than five years ago, an analysis by Labour has revealed.

Survey reveals drop in the availability of childcare places


An increasing number of local authorities are warning they do not have enough childcare places available, a new survey has revealed.

Report hits out at 'dysfunctional' early childhood care system


Early education and childcare is a 'dysfunctional system' that needs a radical re-think, a report has concluded today.

MPs call for post-COVID recovery strategy for new parents


MPs have called on Government to publish a COVID-19 recovery strategy for new parents which should include a fund to help councils arrange in-person visits.

Disadvantaged children ‘locked out’ of early years opportunities


Research suggests Government’s policy of 30 hours of funded childcare for working parents has widened the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.

Councils concerned about future of childcare


Local support for children and families during the pandemic has been wide-ranging but there have also been notable local variations, new study reveals.

A third of councils report fall in holiday childcare places


A third of all local authorities have reported a decrease in the number of holiday childcare places available in their area, according to a new survey.

Childcare crisis deepened by pandemic, study reveals


The availability and affordability crisis in childcare is being exacerbated by the pandemic and subsequent childcare closures, warns a gender equality group.

Ministers 'knew early years was underfunded' argues charity


The Government has been accused of knowingly under-funding local authorities on 'free childcare' places by the Early Years Alliance.

A third of councils see closure of childcare providers


Over a third (35%) of local authorities in England have seen a rise in the number of childcare providers permanently closing down in the last year, according to an annual survey.

Councils urged to check 'free must mean free' on nursery places


The ombudsman has urged councils to ensure nurseries in their areas really are providing free early years places.

Councils anticipate ‘permanent closure’ of childcare providers


Over half of local authorities in England anticipate the permanent closure of childcare providers after COVID funding ends, a childcare charity has found.

Calls to invest £240m in early years provision


A quarter of early years providers in the most deprived local authorities could close by Christmas without additional funding, a new survey has revealed.

Think tank calls for a 'family stimulus' boost


A 'family stimulus' would help support hard-hit families through the pandemic, a new report has said.

Counties warn childcare closures will hit remote areas the hardest


One in ten childcare providers in England’s most remote areas are at risk of closure this winter, county councils have warned today.

Informal childcare exempt from local lockdown rules


Councils have welcomed the announcement that informal childcare and other caring arrangements will be exempt from local lockdown restrictions.

Early years’ workers ‘overworked and undervalued’, study reveals


Low pay, a high workload and a lack of career development for early years’ workers risk impacting on the provision of care and education services for the under-fives, report says.

Call to 'supercharge' early years services


Early years services are failing to target the children that most need support, a report has warned today.

Report warns childcare sector at risk of mass closure


A quarter of early years providers warn they expect to close within the year due to the impact of coronavirus, a new survey has revealed.

Majority of childcare providers have fears over re-opening safely, survey reveals


Only 13% of early years childcare providers are confident about opening their doors from next week, a new survey has revealed.

Councils given power to reallocate free childcare funding


Councils have been given the freedom to move government funding for free childcare entitlements to meet demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Disadvantaged children less likely to benefit from free childcare, auditors warn


Disadvantaged families are less likely to take up free early education and childcare places, auditors have warned today.

Parents face ‘postcode lottery’ for expensive childcare, survey reveals


Parents are paying 5% more for childcare for the under-twos than they were one year ago, according to an annual survey of childcare costs.

Tories promise cash boost for infrastructure and skills


A Conservative Government would deliver record investments in infrastructure, childcare and skills, according to the party’s manifesto.

Councils receive free childcare funding boost


Councils offering 15 hours free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds will receive an increase in their hourly funding, the Government has confirmed today.

Parents’ childcare bills set to double over summer


Working parents could face a childcare bill of up to £800 during the summer holiday - more than double the cost of term time childcare, a children’s charity has warned.

London parents 'locked out' of work due to rising childcare costs


Nearly two in three local authorities in London do not have enough childcare to meet the demand from parents of school-age children, new research has revealed.

More men needed in early years education, minister says


The Government has launched a new project designed to encourage more men to work in early years education.

Northants apologises for underpaying childminders


Northamptonshire County Council has apologised ‘unreservedly’ for underpaying childminders and nurseries by thousands of pounds.

Childcare funding ‘insufficient’, council chiefs warn


Government funding for nursery school places often fails to cover the costs for those providing the care, local authority leaders have warned.

Early years workers ‘struggling financially'


Childcare workers are struggling financially and many are forced to claim state benefits, an education think tank has found.

Parents support 30 hour childcare scheme despite underfunding


Over 80% of surveyed parents said their children were better prepared to start school due to the 30 hours free childcare scheme, despite concerns over funding.

Parents ‘struggling’ with childcare costs, TUC warns


Working parents with children under five have seen nursery fees increase three times faster than their wages over the past decade, trades unions have revealed.

Foster parents to receive free childcare


Foster parents will have access to the government’s 30 hours free childcare offer for the first time from September.

Whitehall’s free childcare policy ‘crippling’ nurseries


Nurseries are calling on the Government to ‘wake up’ as a new survey reveals the spiralling costs of their flagship free childcare policy.

Council websites making ‘progress’ in presentation about childcare on mobiles


Local authority websites have shown ‘progress’ in the presentation of information and services on mobile devices about children's services, ICT body reveals.

Whitehall figures on childcare funding ‘misleading’, MPs say


MPs have called on the Government to pay a higher hourly rate to local authorities for the 30-hours free childcare scheme.

Research highlights lack of male staff in council nurseries


New figures have revealed that only 5% of staff in the Early Years sector are male, leading to calls to 'widen the talent pool'.

Price ‘surge’ undermines childcare policies


A surge in the price of childcare is undermining the Government’s investment in support schemes to help people get access to childcare services, trust finds.

Campaigners warn council nurseries are not open long enough for working parents


Nine out of ten council nurseries in Scotland are not providing cover for ‘normal’ working hours, new research has claimed today.

Cost of childcare has risen four times faster than wages, research finds


The cost of childcare for the youngest children has risen four times faster than wages since 2008, according to the TUC.

Gov’s free childcare policy undermines social mobility, report says


The Government’s free childcare policy could undermine social mobility by widening the gap in school readiness between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers, social mobility experts say.

Nursery staff facing pay cuts over free childcare rollout says think tank


The Government’s new 30-hours free childcare scheme is so underfunded that nurseries would have to pay their staff below the minimum wage to make it work, according to new research.

Weekly cost of childcare has risen by over 50%, opposition says


The Government is ‘failing working parents’, Labour says as analysis reveals the cost of childcare has risen dramatically since 2010.

Summer holiday brings nearly £3bn in childcare bills, report finds


Parents are facing a nearly £3bn childcare bill this summer and will be forced to either pay or lose wages by taking time-off, research reveals.

Nurseries warn it's 'crunch time' for free childcare funding


Nurseries will only a receive an ‘inadequate’ increase of 40p per hour in order to provide 30 hours of free childcare, new research has revealed.

Rise in business rates will threaten nurseries, warns committee


A Scottish parliamentary committee will write to local authorities and the Scottish Government about pressure childcare organisations are facing over increased business rates.

Parties should adopt Childcare Passport plan, nurseries say


Nurseries are calling on all of the major political parties to include in their manifestos a ‘radical’ new passport scheme to simplify childcare funding.

Whitehall’s 30 hours free childcare policy ‘in danger’ as nurseries opt out


The Government's promise to provide parents with 30 free hours of childcare is in danger as daycare nurseries opt out leaving 50,000 children without places.

Whitehall’s free childcare policy to receive extra £55m boost


The Government has unlocked £55m of investment as a boost to their flagship childcare scheme.

Thousands of nursery workers paid ‘illegal poverty wages’, study reveals


One in 10 nursery workers are being paid below the minimum wage despite nurseries benefitting from Government subsidies, new analysis reveals.

Parents shut out of workplace by ‘crippling childcare costs’


Parents are spending over £6,000 a year – double what families spend on food and drink annually – for a part-time nursery place, child care charity reports.

Free childcare could put quality at risk warn councils


Councils have warned that the extension of free childcare could put quality and availability of services at risk, a new survey has revealed.

Whitehall should ‘abolish’ free childcare, think tank says


The Government should abolish universal free childcare and directly target support at the most disadvantaged families, free-market think tank argues.

Families with disabled children ‘left in dark’ about childcare


Families with disabled children are frequently ‘left in the dark’ when it comes to childcare due to a lack of information from local authorities, charity finds.

Government announces £50m grant to fund free childcare


The education secretary today announced a £50m grant will be made available to support the delivery of the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer.

Oxfordshire CC to waive children's centres' rents for one year


Oxfordshire CC has agreed to waive the rents of children's centres run by community groups for up to a year if they face closure.

Government ‘complacent’ over child protection issues warn MPs


The Government has been accused of being too slow to improve child protection services, a report from MPs has warned today.

New funding for free childcare falls ‘woefully short’


Councils have welcomed proposals to increase hourly rate for providers delivering 15 hours of free childcare—but are concerned it will not be ‘sufficient’.

Quality of early years provision at risk due to reforms


The quality of early years provision could be put at risk due to government funding reforms, new research has warned.

30 hours free childcare plans ‘doomed’ without proper funding


Government plans to offer 30 hours free childcare ‘doomed’ without proper funding because nurseries would be forced to close down, warns school union.

Slough’s education support services to revert back to council


Slough cabinet members will be asked today to agree to a recommendation to transfer the running of education support services and children’s centres back to the council.

Rotherham children’s homes close after Ofsted criticisms


Two out of Rotherham’s three children’s homes will be closed after Ofsted raised concerns over the quality of care they provided.

Funding pressures cause childcare charity 4Children to close


More than 200 staff are set to transfer over to local authorities and other care providers following the sudden closure of charity 4Children.

Local authorities ‘not doing enough’ to support parents of disabled children


Councils should take a more flexible approach to childcare, charity says after it was revealed four out of five parents of children with complex needs struggled to access services over the summer holidays.

New funding formula for early childcare


The Government has introduced a new funding system for nurseries, preschools and childminders in a bid to shore up its flagship 30-hour free childcare policy.

Councils providing patchy support to early years providers


Councils do not have a consistent approach to funding early education, meaning many children are subject to poor quality services, a new report has found.

Children in care missing out on mentoring scheme


Councils are failing to ensure children in care have access to a mentor, according to a new investigation.

Anglesey to invest to prevent children being taken into care


Anglesey Council is to spend more than £500,000 to tackle the growing number of children being taken into care.

Parents anxious about extra costs during the holiday


Nearly half of parents with young school children are worring about the extra costs of paying for childcare this summer holiday, new figures reveal.

Shortages in holiday childcare mean ‘high costs and limited choice’


The majority of local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales say they do not have enough holiday childcare to meet demand.

Lack of providers for Whitehall’s flagship free childcare policy


There may not be enough providers willing to supply the additional 15 hours of free childcare being promised by the Government in 2017, committee warns.

Nurseries abandon 30-hour free childcare pilot due to lack of funding


Early years providers have pulled out of a pilot scheme for the Government's flagship 30-hour free childcare entitlement offer because of an ‘unacceptably low rate’ of funding.

Whitehall’s ‘blinkered’ nursery recruitment policy damaging to sector, campaigners say


The new requirement for nursery staff to have good GCSEs in Maths and English is a ‘narrow-minded’ policy that will have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on recruitment, campaign warns.

Whitehall's childcare plans 'underfunded', charity warns


The Government's 30-hour free entitlement offer is 'underfunded', an educational charity argues as survey reveals half of childcare providers fear it will result in closures.

Next London mayor should support working single parents


The next mayor of London should help single parents by supporting measures designed to pay the deposits of nurseries and childminders, charity says.

Housing Bill could cause staffing crisis in care professions, warns research


The Housing Bill could cause a recruitment crisis in the care sector as many social housing tenants will be forced to move away from London, new research has concluded.

Survey highlights shortage of free early education places


The number of local authorities with a lack of free places for three and four year olds has doubled in the past year, according to an annual survey of childcare.

Free childcare at risk from shortfall of places


Less than half of nurseries will be increasing the number of free places they offer due to fears their costs will not be covered by the Government, a new survey has revealed.

Eight councils chosen to trial free childcare provision


Eight councils are to share £13m funding to help pilot the roll-out of 30 hours free childcare for working parents.

Government must focus more on early years childcare, charity argues


The Government should make improving the quality of childcare and support for low-income families its top priority, says new report.

Scottish Government responds to poverty review with £1m for new childcare models


The Scottish Government is to invest £1m in trialling new models of childcare in response in a wide-ranging report on tackling poverty in Scotland.

Cameron pledges to crack down on 'coasting' academies


The government’s coasting schools programme is to be extended to cover failing academies, under plans due to be announced by the prime minister later today.

Report reveals best and worst places for 'family friendliness'


A new study has found Sandwell, Barking & Dagenham and Newham to be the least family friendly local authority areas in the country – but said most of the blame lies with central Government.

Charity calls for investment to improve childcare services


Local authorities should be handed control of the £535m savings from the delayed roll out of Tax Free Childcare to help improve childcare services in their areas, according to a new report.

Report: door is open to a progressive spending review


Chancellor George Osborne could deliver a progressive spending review that invests in public services without compromising his pledge to eliminate the deficit, according to a leading think tank.

Councils failing to provide adequate holiday childcare finds survey


The majority of local authorities do not have enough childcare to meet demand in school holidays, a new survey has found.

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