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Victoria Derbyshire discusses 30 hours funding

Victoria Derbyshire – 30 hours funding discussion. BBC2 Tuesday 15th March.

This has been a hotly debated topic this week in FSF HQ and also here  on the forum.

In the discussions we have had at HQ views range from “Well, let’s not do it at all, we can’t make the numbers add up” to “I think it’ll be OK but we need to listen to what happens on the pilot really carefully”.

The Victoria Derbyshire programme last Tuesday put the arguments clearly and concisely and gave a useful explanation of the issues.

The key points were as follows:

  • No one disputes that providing additional funded childcare hours for parents is a good thing
  • All providers are worried that the currently proposed levels of funding fall short of the actual cost of providing the hours
  • Currently most providers ‘cross subsidise’ (i.e. they put prices up for hours outside the funded hours) the existing funding shortfall by increasing costs elsewhere in their provision
  • With the increase in hours the opportunities for ‘cross subsidising’ funding are limited

The National audit office have identified a number of issues with the 30 hour entitlement – you can read the summary of their report here or the full report here 

Victoria Derbyshire spoke to Purnima Tanuku OBE, NDNA Chief Executive, Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and Jenny Chapman MP (shadow childcare minister) and their views were broadly the same – that at present the numbers don’t stack up for providers and there is much work to be done.


Here at FSF HQ we are following developments keenly and we have started a thread  to move the debate forward. We are looking for practical ideas and actions you have taken in preparation for 30 hours. We are particularly keen to hear from you if you are in one of the pilot areas – what have you been told? What have you planned?


This is a very much a watch this space situation …

FSF Rebecca
Rebecca's family hail from Liverpool but she was born and bred in the south of England. She gained a PGCE from Cambridge and an MA in Education researching school improvement. Rebecca taught in the primary sector for several years before setting up her own nursery, gaining EYPS and later working in nurseries and other early years settings helping identify areas for improvement. For some years she was the FSF Education Adviser and Web Content Editor and she is now an Education Consultant for the FSF and Tapestry.

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