Responding to a report from Early Years Alliance, which has found nurseries in poor areas face potential closure, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“Research shows that effective, high-quality early years provision makes a real difference to young children, helping to break the cycle of disadvantage, improving social mobility and offering them a good start in life.

“Recent changes to early years provision, including the 30 hours free childcare scheme for working families, are a positive step. However, we have repeatedly raised concerns that the funding rates are insufficient and this is risking both the sustainability of many providers and the quality of provision.

“We have particular concerns around provision for disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs and disabilities if funding rates continue to fall below the cost of delivering services.

“It is vital that early years providers are properly funded to allow them to deliver the high quality childcare that gives children the best start in life.”

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