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What do we mean by underfunded?

The early years sector is underfunded though this is often referred to as 'expensive'. We are not expensive and we need to challenge this. If there was a proper pay scale for our professionals then our fees would be a LOT higher than they are now. The only reason that it is unafforable for many parents is because we are underfunded.

We need to explain this to our teams, parents and wider society in real terms so that more people understand what we mean and we can gather more support for the sector.

One of our founders, Claire Kenyon (junior) made a video published on our Instagram explaining it in relation to West Sussex. Please feel free to share this or use it for reference. Or create your own social media posts, letters to parents and videos to explain it relation to your own local authority.

To help with this you can get information from the Freedom of Information investigation undertaken by the Early Years Alliance here. For quick reference, in 2015 the government themselves predicted that by 2020 they would need to be offering a funding rate of £7.49 per hour for 3-4 year olds. They conciously decided NOT to do this, knowing providers would need to cross subsidise and they also suggested that we needed to become more efficient so that we could functon on minimum ratios.

You will need to find the funding rates from your own local authority to make your point clear. The rates for West Sussex are on the document below. If you find rates for your LA please email them to so that we can add them to the document.

Funding rates
Download DOCX • 13KB

You should be able to view previous years funding rates on your provider portal (or however your local authority organises funding claims). To keep it simple you mainly need the rate for 2020 and the rate for now (2023) to show how that differs from the £7.49 they admitted we would need in 2020.

As always - remember to tag us in social media posts. Use #itsnotfree as well.

Keep an eye out on your emails, our social media and our website for other ways you can participate in Septembers plans.

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