Early Education update - Extended free childcare entitlement

The government introduced in the June 2015 Childcare Bill 30 hours of free childcare for employed families of 3 and 4 year olds.

Currently all 3 & 4 year olds are eligible to15 hours Early Education and 94% of Bradford children are using their entitlement. This Bill will mean an additional 15 hours for working parents. The full implementation will be from September 2017.


While we do not yet know all of the detail, we do know that the scheme will begin in pilot form in September 2016. The pilot areas have not been chosen as yet, Bradford has expressed interest in this but we will not know until later this year if we have been successful. We will keep you informed as soon as we hear anything. For further details on the governments plans read Childcare Bill: policy statement - Publications - GOV.UK

Call to evidence

In addition to the 30 hours, the government is also committing to increase the average childcare funding rates paid to providers (the hourly funding provided for each free place) and have put out a consultation that needs to be responded to directly no later than 10th August. Cost of providing childcare review: call for evidence - Consultations - GOV.UK


Although as an authority we fund adequately for 3&4 year olds using the early years funding formula, and provide the full flat rate for 2 year olds with additional costs such as business rates, waste removal etc the funding does not go far enough. We have had concerns raised by some providers on how they will be able to deliver the 30 hours and sustain their business. 


As a local authority we are collating actual costs to providers (which will be anonymised) so we can work out average costs for the various sectors across the district and feed into the call for evidence.


Some people have expressed the difficulty in breaking down their costs for utilities etc as their accounted figures are for all the expenses in the setting. The easiest way to do this is to divide the total costs with the number of children this related to. This will work out the cost per child. Then simply multiple these by the number of Early Education children you have delivered a place to and this will give the estimated costs.


In order to get a true picture, if you haven’t already, please can you complete the form and return to diane.lupton@bradford.gov.uk by Wednesday next week.


Published: 31/07/2015
Audience: Early education providers
Contact: Diane Lupton

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