“NEU members have called for urgent action to expose and address the crisis in early years funding.

“Nursery schools provide a huge boost to the life prospects of some of the most disadvantaged children, but we are simply throwing them away. Funding levels have not kept pace with costs and as a consequence many have been forced to close.

“Early years education, run by teachers and properly funded, is an essential building block in our youngest children’s development. It is the quality of childcare that makes the difference in reducing the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers before they start school. Childcare costs in other countries, though comparable with the UK, are often met by far greater state subsidies. This significantly reduces the amount that parents have to pay and affects the type of childcare to which they have access.

“The Government’s funding of nursery education for the youngest children lacks vision and is leaving many children without access to the essential support and services their families may need. Government pledges to make early years central to tackling inequality and enhancing social mobility, are meaningless without the funding to support this aim.”



Note to editors:

We are currently in Liverpool for our Annual Conference (15-18 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 0151 707 4642 (9am-6pm) and 07879 480 061 (24hrs). The press officer can be reached at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk

Our conference agenda is available here: https://neu.org.uk/media/3861/view

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU19 .

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe.
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.