As part of their efforts to increase the number of available nursery places, the previous government committed to investing £100 million in nurseries, pre-schools and playgroups to upgrade facilities and construct new buildings. The aim was to provide 18,000 new childcare places. To encourage new businesses to enter the market and add to childcare places, the government is bringing back the Childcare Business Grant Scheme. The scheme incentivises new childcare businesses to offer free 30-hour places by providing between £300 and £1000 to those that promise to do so.
However, the overall number of childcare spaces has been in decline according to Department for Education figures:
“…the overall number of childcare places in England fell between 2016 and 2018. There were estimated to be 2,841,300 childcare places across all provider types in 2018, compared to 3,093,000 in 2016”
This policy promises to increase the number of nursery places by thousands each year, but the statistics indicate that the opposite is taking place – the number of nursery places is falling. We’re marking this as ‘broken’. To move it to ‘in progress’ we’ll need to see a reversal of current trends in the number of nursery places. Follow this policy for updates.
Want to know more?
- Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers: Main Summary, England, 2018 – Gov.uk
- Families to benefit from £55 million boost to childcare schemes – Gov.uk
- Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 December 2017: main findings – Gov.uk
- 30 hours free childcare: only a quarter of places delivered? – Full Fact