EEF responds to the Chancellor’s announcement on childcare in the Spring Budget
Professor Becky Francis CBE, Chief Executive of the EEF, said:
“The Chancellor has – quite rightly – recognised that parents are facing an affordability crisis when it comes to childcare. It will be welcome news to many that the 30 hours entitlement will be expanded to include one- and two-year-olds.
“Alongside affordability, we must also recognise that high-quality early education is one of the best investments we can make to promote positive outcomes later in life, particularly for children from socio-economically disadvantaged families.
“To do this, it’s crucial that early years settings are well-funded and have access the support and resources they need, particularly in the most disadvantaged areas. What’s more, any expansion to free early years care has to maintain a focus on the most disadvantaged children and make sure they have access to great early learning and development opportunities. Otherwise, there is a risk that we widen inequalities between disadvantaged children and their peers.
“Getting early education right – by recognising the important role that early years settings play in shaping outcomes, and making sure that the most disadvantaged children can access it – has huge potential for reducing education inequality.”