Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau said:
'The Government's urgency in piloting measures to provide 30 hours of free childcare for children aged three and four is a welcome move for working families but considerable care will be needed to ensure children really benefit from this investment.
'Research tells us that only high-quality early education is effective in improving children's development, yet early years and childcare settings are facing considerable difficulties in recruiting well-qualified and experienced staff. These problems are further compounded by inadequate funding that sees many early years settings running at a deficit when providing free childcare. These shortcomings require urgent attention, so it is right that the government will initiate a review of funding before the summer. This must be a thorough review and look in particular at childcare for disabled children, where there are additional costs in meeting their needs.
'With an ambitious timescale for introducing the expanded free childcare, we must ask whether providers will have both the number of staff and facilities needed to expand childcare to more children while retaining the quality needed to give young children the best start in life.'