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A fair start for all

The government plans to expand the number of NumberFree early childhood education and care (ECEC) is available to some families, meaning that by the end of 2024, 80% of education and care services in England will be state funded. ECEC was to become a de facto public service, but there was no recognition of the wide-ranging benefits this could bring.

The concept of Universal Basic Services (UBS) is premised on the fact that the first priority of good government is to ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met. This is usually best accomplished through collective services rather than individual market transactions. The UBS Framework sets out clear standards that public services should meet:

  • Free or affordable access based on need, not ability to pay.
  • A mixed supply economy, subject to a range of public interest obligations.
  • Ensure fair pay and conditions for service personnel.
  • Environmental sustainability is integrated into the design and delivery of services.
  • Delegate authority to the lowest appropriate level.

The framework lays the foundation for reimagining the design and delivery of early childhood care as a universal public service that better meets the needs of children, parents and staff, while making a contribution to the economy, society and environment in which it operates. Make a positive contribution.

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