‘This will be the end of nurseries’: preschools in England warn of closures amid free childcare expansion plan

Jeremy Hunt has been told his budget giveaway will have a ‘catastrophic’ effect without more funding

A key plan to expand free childcare will “absolutely guarantee” the closure of more nurseries, the departure of staff and a fall in places if there is not a substantial increase in the funding behind it, Jeremy Hunt has been warned.

An eye-catching pledge for a huge expansion of free childcare provision was a main giveaway in the chancellor’s budget last week. However, while childcare providers have welcomed extra help for parents, nurseries across England, speaking to the Observer, said that the plan risked having a “catastrophic” impact on the sector without an overhauling of central funding.

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