New guide aims to clarify funding changes

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A new guide outlining changes to early years funding and delivery has been published by the Pre-School Learning Alliance.

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The Pre-School Learning Alliance's new guide on funding and delivery changes

It is designed to provide clarity to providers as the Alliance says there is a lot of misinformation and confusion among the sector about what is changing and when.

Free to download, 'A Guide to Early Years Funding and Delivery Changes’ provides an update to the Alliance’s previous publication on early years funding, which came out ahead of the Government’s consultation response.

This new guide includes how local authority funding rates have been calculated, how local funding formulas will work, and changes to SEND support. It also features an overview of the general principles around the delivery of the free entitlement offer, the rules around eligibility for the 30-hour offer and a timeline of when key changes are due to be implemented.

A new early years funding formula was unveiled by the Department for Education at the beginning of the month.

All Pre-School Learning Alliance members will be sent a hard copy of the guide in January. It is also available for non-members on request.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said, ‘Next year is going to see several significant changes to the way that early years provision in this country is both funded and delivered. As it stands, however, there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion on what is changing and when.

‘Some providers, for example, aren’t aware that local authorities only have to move to a universal base rate from 2019. Others aren’t clear that parents don’t actually have to work for 16 hours per week to be eligible for the 30-hour offer – they only have to earn the equivalent of 16 hours' work at national living or minimum wage.

‘With so much information from Government coming so late in the day, we felt it was vital to provide clear, accessible guidance for early years providers trying to prepare for next year. Given that many of the impending changes are likely to have a substantial impact on those offering the free entitlement, we also felt it was important to make the guide available for free to the whole sector, not just Alliance members.

‘We hope that providers will find the guide useful, and we will continue working to keep the sector informed throughout 2017 and beyond.’

  • 'A Guide to Early Years Funding and Delivery Changes’ is available to download in PDF format from the Alliance’s website.
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