Alliance publishes funding evidence guidance for practitioners

Pre-School Learning Alliance

The Pre-school Learning Alliance has produced two new guidance documents to support practitioners responding to the government’s call for evidence on the cost of delivering childcare.

The first – ‘Guide to calculating the cost of delivering childcare’ – provides information on how to calculate the hourly cost of delivering childcare. It includes a detailed cost template alongside guidance on calculating hours of delivery, and additional advice on other information practitioners may wish to include in their responses to government, such as time spent in external meetings, SEND provision considerations, and opening and closing routines.

The second – ‘Guide to identifying delivery costs’ - is a shorter, simplified version of the first guidance document, which helps providers to identify childcare delivery costs. This document is aimed at practitioners who don’t have the time or necessary information needed to calculate their exact hourly cost of delivery.

Both guides can be accessed for free at:  

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“We warmly welcome the DfE’s call for evidence in principle, as it provides practitioners with a much-needed opportunity to tell government what it actually costs to deliver so-called ‘free’ childcare. That said, the Alliance is clear that this exercise isn’t a solution to the problem of funding in and of itself, as there is much more work to do to ensure that the early years sector – and specifically, the free entitlement scheme – is adequately funded in the long-term. What’s more, we’re disappointed at how vague the call for evidence is – asking providers to give “any information [they] wish to provide to inform the review” is likely to result in a lot of anecdotal evidence which, while still important, will be of limited use when analysing actual delivery costs and how they compare to current funding rates.
“That said, the call for evidence is of course a positive step in the right direction, and so it is vital that as many providers respond to it as possible, which is why the Alliance has produced these two guides to support them in doing so. We hope that practitioners will find them useful in helping them to give as much specific detail as possible about the actual cost of delivering childcare and early education in their responses, as this will be crucial in helping the DfE gain a better understanding of the current funding situation and the scale of change that is needed.”