Today’s Education in the media blog looks at the importance of maintained nurseries, and the funding we are putting forward to ensure they are adequately resourced.
Today, Tuesday 3 July, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme ran a package about funding for maintained nursery schools, which was followed by an interview with Minister Zahawi.
A number of MPs have called for the additional funding for maintained nurseries to be extended past 2020, they believe that a majority of maintained nursery schools expect to set deficit budgets next year.
In his interview, Minister Zahawi outlined the valuable maintained nursery schools play in our plans around social mobility. This is why we have made £60m a year available to maintained nursery schools.
The department is clear that decisions on future funding will be taken as part of the next Spending Review and Minister Zahawi has called on local government to not make premature decisions around these nurseries at this stage.
Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:
Maintained nursery schools make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children – that’s why we are providing £60million a year up until 2020. We also support low income families with access to high quality early years through our 15 hours free childcare for all three-and-four-year-olds, with 30 hours available for working families, in addition to the 15 hours a week for the most deprived two-year-olds, which almost 750,000 children are already benefiting from.
I regularly meet with Maintained Nursery School leaders and we continue to work closely together to better understand the value these nurseries offer, so I would urge councils not to make premature decisions on the future of these nurseries as this work continues.