Due to the Fair Future Funding Action Week, Hungry Caterpillars invited Bob Blackman, MP for Stanmore and the surrounding areas, on the 14th June 2019 to talk about the issues around the current funding rate for 3 & 4 year olds. The Early Years Alliance is behind the action week, and has aims to raise the awareness of the current shortfall in funding as costs continue to rise for providers. It is anticipated that by engaging local MP’s in the issues surrounding a static funding rate (frozen until 2020) despite increased rents, rates, living wage and pension costs that concerns over future viability within the sector.
Dawn Sheikh, Stanburn Nursery Manager and Olivia Foley, Director & Founder of Hungry Caterpillars, were there to meet Mr Blackman and discuss the various challenges that the nursery faces. As an Ofsted Outstanding nursery we go above and beyond to support all children that attend, which includes supporting SEN, EAL and other challenges. We also offer a range of extra circular activities such as French lesson, Boogie Mites and Stretch and Grow. However with rising wage, pension, rent, rates and other cost the funding needs to be kept in line with inflation and be realistic.
A recent research project published by Ceeda in June 19, reveals that the national funding deficit is currently at £662 million. With the average cost of delivery nationally for 3 & 4 year olds at £5.36 per hour and the average delivery cost for 2 years olds at £7.22 per hour. The rate we receive from Harrow for 3 & 4 year olds of £4.53 is already .83p per hour less than the national average. Whilst the rate for 2 year olds of £5.92 is a massive £1.30 per hour less than the national average delivery cost.
Harrow is undoubtedly more expensive to operate in than other parts of the country which would indicate higher delivery cost than the Ceeda report states.
The nursery were able to share with Mr Blackman what the long term effect of underfunding will be on our setting and others.