The Early Years Alliance have released private briefing documents published through the Freedom of Information Act which reveal the government has known that underfunding early years would mean higher childcare costs for parents.

In response, Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Executive Chair of the Sutton Trust, said:

“It’s vital that high-quality early years provision is accessible to all families. The lowest-income children are already 11 months behind their better-off peers when they start school, but the early years sector can really help close this gap. Currently, childcare costs in the UK are amongst the highest in the world, which means that many parents are unable to access good-quality, consistent provision for their child.

‘The perseverance shown by the Early Years Alliance to get answers from the government on their early years policy is admirable. It’s disappointing to have confirmation that the government were aware that the current early years funding would not be enough to fully support their scheme, but that it was implemented anyway.

‘The 30 hours policy is directly disadvantaging low-income families, who already face additional barriers to accessing good early years provision. A well-funded and accessible early years sector is vital for social cohesion and social mobility, and we have launched a new campaign to explore this policy and create alternatives which support every young child.”

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