King Charles III will today set out the government’s legislative programme for the next year in parliament (more to come in tomorrow’s Sensemaker). It’s worth remembering one promise made by the government back in Spring: to significantly extend government-funded childcare by September 2025 to cover 30 “free” hours a week starting when children are nine months old. A new report suggests that is unlikely to happen, as more than half of all nursery staff are considering leaving the sector in the next 12 months due to low pay, lack of career progression and increased workload. The Early Education and Childcare Coalition (EECC) report found that only 17 per cent of nursery managers would be able to offer the extra “free hours” because of staffing shortages. The government says it will launch a recruitment campaign next year and an accelerated apprenticeship route. Pregnant Then Screwed, a campaign group, said parents were being left “in limbo” as they waited to see if they could afford to go back to work.