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Maintained nurseries get £24 million funding boost

By Rachel Lawler
happy child
Maintained nursery schools in England will get an additional £24 million in funding to cover the summer term in 2019.
The future of the 397 maintained nursery schools in England was uncertain after supplementary funding was due to come to an end in the next year.
Supplementary funding
Additional funding was granted to these maintained nurseries in 2017-18 after the government recognised that the Early Years Funding Formula would not cover the cost of running these settings.
The funding, said to keep funding rates at their 2016-17 levels, was granted for three years but was not guaranteed beyond this ahead of the next Spending Review, due to take place some time this year.
Health visitors
Children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi is due to make the announcement to an audience of 300 early years professionals in Manchester later today.
Zahawi will also announce specialist training for 1,000 health visitors to help support children’s early language and communication needs during home visits.
The date for the 2019 Spending Review is yet to be confirmed.
PVI challenges
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: “It beggars belief that the government has seen fit to completely ignore the challenge facing the PVI sector.
"While today’s announcement will understandably be welcomed by Maintained Nursery Schools, it does nothing to address the wider funding crisis engulfing the early years sector.
"Stop-gap measure"
“This is at best a stop-gap measure which will safeguard the short-term future of a tiny proportion of childcare provision used by only a few thousand parents. No one wants to see these nursery schools close unnecessarily but the fact is that we are already seeing – and will continue to see – thousands of childminders, pre-schools and nurseries close for a lack of funding.
"Wrapped up in today’s promise of more funding for nursery schools is a tacit admission from the government that there is simply not enough money in the system. Sadly, the time for admitting there is a problem has long passed: the government must act now to increase funding across the whole sector. Doing nothing – or grabbing a hundred per cent of the headlines while helping a tiny percentage of the providers - is not fair on those struggling to stay open and lets down the overwhelming majority of parents who access their childcare in high quality PVI settings across the country."
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