NDNA recommends childcare passport funding

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has called on all political parties to invest in childcare and simplify early years funding with a radical Childcare Passport proposal.

Ahead of the General Election, the association has recommended a ‘bureaucracy-cutting Childcare Passport idea’ to put all streams of funding in one account, under the control of families.

In a short manifesto, the body has set out the proposal as part of a five-step plan towards affordable, high-quality and flexible childcare for everyone.

Currently, there are four main funding streams - employer-supported childcare vouchers, Tax-Free Childcare being introduced this year, free early years entitlement and any help via tax credits or universal credit. However, the NDNA has warned that this funding is inadequate and its system inefficient and complicated for parents.

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive, OBE, said: “It would put families at the heart of childcare and allow nurseries to get on with caring for and educating children. This general election is a great opportunity for parties to work together and transform childcare funding for the long term.”

“Developing this new, family-centred system, building on the planned Tax-Free Childcare accounts, will sweep away layers of bureaucracy.

“If parents hold the purse strings they can choose and pay for their childcare directly, making things much simpler for them and allowing more money to reach nursery frontlines.”

Purnima added: “The Childcare Passport would involve a change of mindset to a family-centred system rather than the traditional approach that requires families to fit in with Government’s initiatives.

“A cross-departmental taskforce with representation from Scotland and Wales including HMRC, DWP and the Department for Education should be established to deliver the passport.”

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