Published 12 June 2024

Privately run early education and childcare providers are set to get an hourly pay rise for supporting the Council in offering up to 1140 hours of childcare.

Members of the Educational Services committee agreed to increasing the hourly rate for caring for eligible two year olds by 10% from £5.84 to £6.43 and for three year olds and above from £5.84 to £6.28, an increase of by 7.6% from 1st April 2024.

The increase in rate for the care of eligible 2 year olds is in recognition of the rate not being increased last session and the ratios of adult to children staffing costs which are higher for two year olds than for children aged three years and over.

The Council also supports partner providers by providing free access to professional learning, working groups and annual mandatory training. Partner nurseries can attend leaders’ meetings, partner provider meetings and access early stages teacher allocated resource.  Services can also access support from the Council’s Psychological Services and receive guidance and support from the Council’s Early Years Services, including preparation for inspections, sharing guidance and good practice and budgeting.

Laura Mason, Chief Education Officer, said: “Since August 2021, all three and four-year-old children and eligible two-year-old children have been entitled to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare each year. Throughout this time we have built strong relationships with our partner providers and work together to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet the demand of our families.  I am pleased to see this increase to the hourly rate passed by the Committee as we recognise and value their commitment to supporting local children in their early learning.”