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Following the Cabinet reshuffle and the announcement of the responsibilities of the new ministerial team at the Department for Education (DfE), National Day Nurseries Association has commented on the appointment of Elizabeth Truss MP, and how the Association can support the government’s childcare initiatives.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, National Day Nurseries Association chief executive said: “We look forward to working with the new ministerial team to build on positive steps already made by the coalition, such as free nursery places for disadvantaged two year olds.
“We are keen to engage with Elizabeth Truss MP, who is leading on childcare and early learning and also feel that the NDNA and the nursery sector can make a significant contribution to David Laws MP's child poverty and social mobility brief and to Edward Timpson MP's Special Educational Needs brief.
"We understand the new ministerial team will be keen to address the issue of childcare affordability alongside colleagues from DWP. We have responded to the Childcare Commission request for evidence and look forward to continuing engagement around important issues such as how childcare can be made more affordable for parents without sacrificing quality.
“NDNA hopes that more will be done to address the issue of funding shortfalls for free entitlement places, 76 per cent of nurseries say funding for three and four year old places does not cover their costs. This threatens the sustainability of the nursery sector and increases the cost of paid for places as nurseries seek to make up the shortfall.
“We also hope the government will consider the exemption of nurseries from VAT and business rates to bring greater equality between public and private sector nurseries. Feedback from members has suggested that cost savings made from exemption from VAT or business rates would be passed on to parents and invested in staff.
“We wish Sarah Teather MP all the best for the future and would like to thank her for the work she has done actively engaging with the sector.”