The NDNA wants all nursery providers across England, Scotland and Wales to take part in the survey to gauge a detailed picture of the challenges facing the sector ahead of the roll-out of expanded free childcare schemes.
Responses to the survey will be used as evidence to submit to the Government to help providers achieve adequate funding to deliver the free childcare places.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA, said, ‘In a landmark year when English nurseries begin offering 30 hours of Government-funded childcare a week for three- and four-year-olds, and trials for similar schemes begin in Wales and Scotland, this is the most important survey we have ever embarked upon.
‘In this 8th annual survey, we will be asking pertinent questions regarding funding, but also about business burdens and confidence.'
NDNA’s last survey in 2016 highlighted nurseries’ concerns surrounding the delivery of the extended free childcare on insufficient funding. It also revealed that the ‘average’ nursery had a shortfall of £34,000 in the cost of delivering the current free entitlement of 15 hours.
Responses from Welsh providers showed that many were struggling to stay in business, with an average occupancy of 76 per cent. Just half were commissioned by their local authority to provide funded places.
Ms Tanuku said, ‘We would ask all networks of providers, whether they are NDNA members or not, to give us their views and evidence so we can work together to garner the best deal for nurseries, to allow them to provide high quality early learning and care sustainably.’
‘It is vital that the results of this survey represent a broad spectrum of nurseries across the UK and that we speak in one strong, collective voice.
‘Successive surveys have showed a year on year increase in the gap between funding and cost of delivery. The Government cannot afford for this trend to continue if it wishes to deliver on its ambitious election promise to offer more hours free childcare to parents of young children.’
- To take part in the survey, which is open until 8 February, click here