Decision details

23241051-Implementation of the DfE Early Years Financial Incentive Pilot

Decision Maker: Assistant Director of Finance & Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Director Partnerships, Early Intervention and Localities

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


In March 2023 the Chancellor announced transformative reforms to childcare for parents, children, the economy and women. By 2027-28, the Government will more than double its investment into the childcare support it offers, spending over an estimated £8bn every year on free hours and early education. Part of these childcare reforms will significantly increase the availability of childcare, reduce costs and increase the number of parents who are entitled to the
support. By the 1st September 2025, all eligible working parents will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare from the term after their child turns 9 months. These reforms will increase demand for
childcare places and as such there will need to be an increase in the supply of places. In January 2024 DfE launched this limited pilot to help deliver the childcare expansion at pace and test whether financial incentives in EY would help boost recruitment in a similar way that it has for school teachers. Doncaster was chosen by the DFE as one of the eligible Las based on IDACI and sufficiency data


The aim of the pilot is to help attract new or returning EY staff by paying an incentive of £1000 shortly after they take up their role in targeted Private , Voluntary and Independent provision in
Doncaster. The DfE are testing whether a ‘golden hello’ can be an effective way to recruit EY staff in high demand areas. We are focussing on :-
1.Full day care providers
2.Sessional settings in areas with sufficiency issues
3.Sessional settings with high numbers of children with SEND
4.Childminders who would like to take on assistants and fit into the above criteria

This would help us fulfil the brief of the intended Pilot and will help support the maximum amount of settings but in a targeted way.
Doncaster has been awarded £240,431 , 5% of this can be spent on administrative costs. The remaining should be given to the Setting directly who will administer payment to the member of staff following a successful 12 week induction period

Alternative options considered:

The pilot is open to all Early Years providers, however, it was decided to target PVI providers as staff recruitment has already been impacted by migration of staff from PVI to Schools due to improved terms and conditions.
Should we choose not to engage with this pilot it would be at a disadvantage to our providers who have already informed the local authority of their challenges to recruit.

Publication date: 11/04/2024

Date of decision: 21/02/2024

Accompanying Documents: