Further to the response of 30 March, the department will substantially uplift the hourly rate paid to local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers to deliver existing free entitlements offers. The department is providing £204 million of additional funding in 2023/24 and £288 million in 2024/25.
This funding is in addition to the £4.1 billion that the government expects to provide by 2027/28 to facilitate the expansion of the new free hours, and also sits on top of funding already announced for 2023/24.
This is new money, on top of the 2021 Spending Review announcement of additional funding of £180 million in 2023/24 and £170 million in 2024/25, compared to the 2021/22 financial year, and the further £20 million for 2023/24 announced on 16 December 2022.
The department is continuing to explore how we can support the sector to deliver the additional places that will be required. We will work closely with local authorities and providers to identify what needs to be in place to support this significant expansion in childcare provision, including capital requirements as well as workforce.