Frontier Economics – ECEC Solutions

A coalition of Early Years organisations convened by Kindred Squared, including Early Education and providers LEYF and Ark Start, has identified a series of practical and affordable new options for more efficient and effective Early Years spending in England.

There’s widespread acceptance that the current system is broken and the coalition has produced four new economic options which improve the system for children, parents and providers. The analysis by Frontier Economics, one of the largest economic consultancies in Europe, is based on current government spending but shows how radical rebalancing could better support working families and lead to better outcomes for children.

The work is supported by HFL Education, Leeds Beckett University – The International Montessori Institute, nesta, Save the Children and The Sutton Trust.

This is the first time a coalition of this size and scope has joined forces to make a unique and significant intervention in the ongoing debate around childcare provision in England.

See the four new models for an improved Child Care system here

“It’s time for policy makers to stop tinkering around the edges of the early education and childcare system, and go back to core principles to create a system which will deliver for children, parents and society as a whole. 

Every child should have a right to 15 hours a week of high-quality early education from age 2, giving them the best start in life.  

An increase in funding is needed across the board, but especially targeted at the least advantaged children, to ensure that the quality of provision is high enough to to deliver its potential impact on children’s outcomes.  Beyond this, the system needs to be affordable and accessible for all working parents, with support targeted at those earning least.  Our proposals show that there are options which move us quickly in the right direction to achieving these goals as part of a much needed long-term strategy for the early years.”    Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education 

 “Without doubt, high-quality childcare provision generates significant and sustained improvements to child outcomes. However, for this to be a reality we need to reconfigure and readjust where the current funding is spent and work towards providing support for the ambition of reducing inequalities. This will enable all children, regardless of their background, to have an equal start in life. Our new Prime Minister must now honour Number 10’s levelling up promise by improving the quality, affordability, accessibility and availability of childcare and fix what is currently a broken system.”     June O’Sullivan, CEO, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)

“All the research backs up high-quality early education as crucially important for children’s development and there are sensible ways that we can change the system to ensure more children and parents benefit. The rewards if we get it right are huge. Most critically, the right nursery before school, means better outcomes for that child for the rest of their life.”     Katie Oliver, Director, Ark Start

If children, families and childcare provision are going to be the focus of a key political battleground at the next election then it’s vital we have a proper debate based on the real numbers. The work we’ve commissioned shows that much more can be done to help make early years education more affordable and more accessible by simply rebalancing the funding that already exists. If we want to tackle the persistent attainment gaps in education, if we want to improve life chances, then we can start by making some of the relatively simple changes we are proposing.”     Felicity Gillespie, Director, Kindred2