This House of Commons landing page has been published in advance of a debate entitled "Sustainability of the nursery sector". This debate will be led by Chris Green MP and will take place in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 10th October, starting at 9.30am.
The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the level of funding for free childcare provision for 3 and 4-year-olds (CBP-8052), which is available to view here.
Some Members have suggested that the Government might provide relief from business rates for childcare providers, and a petition to Parliament calling for such relief recently closed (6 October 2018) having attracted 10,915 signatures. The Government is due to respond to this in due course. Currently, there is no relief scheme specifically directed at nurseries in England. It is possible, however, that they would be able to claim other forms of relief:
Two additional temporary sources of relief were introduced in the March 2017 Budget:
The Government’s most recent response to questions about the impact of business rates on childcare providers is that it has “commissioned new research to understand provider’s current costs.”
On 13 September 2017, Derek Mackay, the Scottish Finance Secretary, announced that day nurseries in Scotland would be exempt from paying business rates from April 2018. This followed a report into non-domestic business rates by the Barclay review groups, published in August 2017, which recommended 100 per cent business rate relief which, it estimated, would save the childcare sector in Scotland approximately £8 million annually.
On 27 September 2018, the Welsh Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford announced that business rates will be scrapped for day nurseries in Wales. This followed calls from campaigners, including the NDNA (National Day Nurseries Association) Cymru, who claimed that it would aid the private sector to support the Welsh Government’s delivery of 30 hours funded childcare to working parents of three and four-year-olds. This will come into force from April 2019 and will be fully available across Wales by 2020, with a review of the policy scheduled in 2022.
Members may find the following further reading material to be of use when preparing for this debate.
Children & Young People Now, 8 October 2018
Nursery World, 1 October 2018
Nursery World, 30 September 2018
BBC News, 27 September 2018
Daynurseries.co.uk, 27 September 2018
Nursery World, 16 September 2018
Nursery World, 12 September 2018
BBC News, 4 September 2018
[Details of this survey carried out by the Pre-School Learning Alliance are available here]
National Day Nurseries Association, 20 June 2018
Federation of Small Businesses, 20 June 2018
Financial Times, 20 June 2018 [available to view via Parliamentary accounts]
Nursery World, 19 June 2018
The Conversation, 30 May 2018
BBC News, 15 February 2018
Nursery World, 5 February 2018
The Observer, 18 November 2017
Federation of Small Businesses report, Handle with Care: Challenges facing small childcare providers, 19 April 2018
National Day Nurseries Association, Nursery Survey England, June 2018
National Day Nurseries Association, Annual Nurseries Survey 2018, 20 June 2018
Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0205
Authors: Andrew Mackley; Tim Jarrett