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Alliance chief raises concerns over viability of 30 hours offer

Pilots of the 30-hours free childcare scheme are due to start next month, but Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Pre-school Learning Alliance, is concerned about its viability.
The government launched a consultation into three- and four-year-old funding earlier this month which Neil said is a welcome first step, but he added that more is needed to address the challenges still facing the sector.
“Distributing early years funding more effectively is, of course, positive, but if there isn’t enough in the funding pot to begin with, this can only ever be of limited benefit,” Neil said.
“As the DfE itself has acknowledged, if childcare providers find that they’ll be financially worse off by delivering the 30 hours, many will simply opt out of the scheme.”
Neil said that unless the government ensures that funding covers the cost of providing free childcare, he fully expects this to happen.
“As such, we will continue to work to ensure that providers get a fair deal on funding,” he concluded.
“Anything less could not only threaten their sustainability, but also mean that families across the country find themselves without the free childcare they’ve been promised come next September.”