So, on reading this article in Nursery World which informs us that there is a massive 93% underspend on the Tax Free Childcare Accounts – which ultimately forms part of the £6 billion investment in early years funding for education & childcare I can’t help but ask: Will we see this money come back into the sector through increased funding rates? I suspect I know the answer will be NO, but perhaps we should be asking those that advocate our cause to government to pose this question – or perhaps they have already done that and I have missed the responses? Please comment below if you know any more about this!
But how did I get to this figure? Well the TFCA scheme was expected to get 415,000 applicants so that’s a potential £2000 per applicant that has been set aside (£830 billion) – in reality it’s had nearer 30,000 up to October – so the maths indicates this headline figure of around £770 million – give or take a few thousand – as the underspend figure.
With so many settings struggling with making ends meet because of the dire funding rates – supposedly running at a minimum of £4.30 – but which becomes in some cases as little as £3.77 (Warwickshire) or less, at the front line, surely then Government should see some sense and push through more money to the front line – or perhaps they are just looking for new ways to spend it in schools? You may have seen this recent article – headlined as spend for the early years, but in reality aimed only at schools, which seems to have found £50 million ‘social mobility’ money. Did that money come from our ‘pot’ ? Only those that walk the political hallways know that for sure… so let’s ask them.
So I call on all advocates to find out what has happened to our money! Because to find that nearly 15% of our £6 billion is underspent is indeed a travesty in these circumstances.
If you are still struggling in getting the funding to work for you, or indeed you haven’t yet calculated your numbers, then firstly you can do that here with our Funding Losses Calculator or get in touch with us for some Consultancy Support via Tricia or if you want to go it alone but still want to ensure you’ve met all the legislation, then check out our Foundation Focus Funding Support Product – Getting Ready for 30 hours