The Pre-school Learning Alliance is compiling a database of local early years funding rates for 2017/18 to help providers prepare for changes to the way the three- and four-year-old free entitlement is funded.
While the government has confirmed the final funding rates that local authorities will be receiving under the new Early Years National Funding Formula, many providers still do not know what rate they will be receiving from April.
To address this, the Alliance has contacted each local authority in England to ask for details of confirmed or proposed funding rates.
The database, which is available at www.pre-school.org.uk/EYNFF, simply requires practitioners to select their local authority from a drop-down menu.
Once selected, they are presented with information on the local authority’s confirmed funding rate, and where available, the proposed or confirmed three- and four-year-old funding rate for providers in their area. The database will be updated on an ongoing basis as local authorities confirm their rates. If providers have information on local rates that is not currently included in the database, they can contact email@example.com.
The database has replaced the funding calculator launched by the Alliance last year, which estimated potential funding rates based on each local authority’s previous funding patterns.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:
“The recent changes to the way early years funding works in this county are some of the most significant that the sector has faced in recent years – and yet, with just a few months to go until the new funding rules are implemented, many providers are still in the dark about what is likely to happen to their rates, making it impossible to plan or budget properly.
“Confusing information from the Department for Education has added to this problem, with many providers mistakenly believing they will be receiving a minimum funding rate of £4 per hour, which is not the case.
“We’re committed to supporting both our members and the wider sector, and we hope that this database will be a useful source of information and clarity for those that need it. In the meantime, we remain committed to pushing for fairer early years funding through our Fair Future Funding campaign, and are continuing to raise this issue with government representatives at the highest level.”
Shannon Hawthorne, Alliance press and public affairs director, said:
“We know that in, some areas, information on proposed rates has been less than forthcoming and so we wanted to publish the database sooner rather than later so that where this information is available, it would be more easily accessible.
“With over 150 local authorities, all at different stages of implementing their new local funding formulas, the database is inevitably an ongoing piece of work but one that we’ll be looking to update regularly as and when new information on formulas or rates become available.”