National Children’s Bureau and the Council for Disabled Children statement on the Government's announcement on early years funding:
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau said:
‘The extra money promised by Government will go some way to help hard-pressed nurseries and other early years settings meet the costs of providing free childcare. But we need to bear in mind free childcare isn’t simply there to help parents to go to work: it plays a vital role in improving children’s early development, and the only way proven way to bring that about is through high quality services.
‘We are pleased to see that the Government is encouraging local authorities to raise standards in childcare with a discretionary quality payment and we urge them to go further and create a strategy to ensure the early years workforce has the right skills to do the best job possible.’
Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director of the Council for Disabled Children said:
‘The Council for Disabled Children welcomes the commitment the government has made to improving access to early years provision for young disabled children and young children with SEN. The funding is not substantial for each individual child, but has significant and symbolic importance in helping providers to recognise the right of young disabled children to be included.
‘We think the Inclusion Fund will help settings to meet the needs of a wider range of children and will help to improve progress for our youngest children. But we want to see the impact this funding evaluated fully and taken into account in Ofsted inspections. This will help us understand if the extra money is enabling early years settings to provide a suitable service for all children and families.’