17 February 2016 | Childcare & Education

Key findings of NDNA’s annual nursery survey

Courteney Donaldson, Head of Childcare at Christie & Co comments.

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“With specific regard to sustainability, private sector nurseries, which account for circa 80% of all nursery provision in England, must achieve an adequate surplus when delivering any number of funded places, be that under the current 15 hours scheme or the proposed 30 hours scheme. 

“The NDNA report shows that the average nursery experiences a loss of around £34,000 a year due to the existing funding gap. Making a surplus on the delivery of this scheme is essential in order for providers to have the ability to reinvest into their settings in order to ensure that each setting remains able to deliver high quality childcare. Nursery providers fundamentally need to make a surplus in order to make ongoing investment into staff training, nursery resources, equipment and the facility from which the setting trades”.

“From working with our clients, we have seen that the biggest challenge that many childcare providers face is that not all of the funding currently provided by central government makes it thorough to the front line. While local authorities administer funds associated with the scheme, not all authorities pass on all of the funds they receive to providers currently delivering the current 15 hour entitlement. When the 30 hours scheme is implemented, that funding gap could potentially widen unless funding is ringfenced.” 

“The underfunding of the current 15 hour entitlement needs to be addressed, as does funding for the proposed 30 hours scheme. Should adequate funding not be received by providers at the front line, the long term sustainability of the scheme will be at risk.”