https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/06/11/funding-early-years/

Funding early years

The Education Secretary meets with pre-schoolers at Busy Bunnies Nursery in Braybrook, Peterborough.

Today our blog looks at the funding going into early years, and school admissions.

Funding Early Years

Today, Tuesday 11 June, the Early Years Alliance (EYA) published a report showing nurseries in England's poorest areas are facing closure because of a shortfall in government funding.

This story was run as an exclusive by BBC, who drew on the report’s findings that show 43% of providers had been forced to cut back on learning resources.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want every child to have the best start in life, which is why we are planning to spend around £3.5 billion on our early education entitlements this year alone – more than any previous Government.

The Government provides a significant package of childcare to parents and carers, including our 30 hours offer for working parents of three and four year olds, which benefited over 340,000 children in the first year of delivery. Low income families also have access to support through Universal Credit, which can cover up to 85% of childcare costs.

Our Early Years National Funding Formula allocates our funding to local authorities fairly and transparently. We recognise the need to keep our evidence base on costs up-to-date and we continue to monitor the provider market closely through a range of research projects.

School Places

Today, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) published a report, which found that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who attend school nursery are less likely to get a reception place at the same school. This was covered by the Telegraph

It should be noted that the data around the behaviour of schools used in this report based on children born in the 2006-07 academic cohort is old data from the previous SEND system. The report does not offer explanation and does not take into account parental choice in schools. Nonetheless, we endeavour to ensure that all children receive the same opportunities in education.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is exactly the same for every other child – to make the most of early education, do well in school and to live happy and fulfilled lives.

The School Admissions Code is clear that children with SEND cannot be refused a place in a mainstream school on the grounds of having SEND and the Children and Families Act 2014 reinforces the rights of children with SEND to attend mainstream schools.

Local authorities are required to have inclusion funds for all three and four year olds with SEND who are taking up early education entitlements. These funds are intended to support local authorities to work with providers to address the needs of individual children with SEND.

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