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Pre-school Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 114782, tabled on 12 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the level of financial support provided to the early years sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

20 November 2020

We are continuing to fund childcare at the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak, until the end of the calendar year, giving nurseries and childminders another term of secure income, regardless of how many children are attending. Early years settings will continue to benefit from a planned £3.6 billion funding in the 2020-21 financial year to deliver free early education and childcare places.

In addition to this, the government has provided a package of support for individuals and businesses which are directly benefitting providers of childcare. This includes business rates relief and grants, the extended Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which will remain open until March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Our survey of childcare and early years providers and COVID-19, published on 26 October, contains information on early years providers’ use of the CJRS and how many childminders applied for and received government support:

  • At the time of the survey (July 2020), 76% per cent of open group-based providers and 14% of open school-based providers responding reported having made use of the CJRS at any point.
  • At the time of the survey, all childminders were asked whether they had applied for any financial support from the government due to loss of income, for example via the SEISS or the Small Business Grant Scheme. The majority of all childminders (86%) reported having applied for financial support from the government. Of these, 80% have received support and 6% had applied for but not (yet) received support.

Further information on the survey is available here:

We continue to work closely with both local authorities and the early years sector organisations to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the sector. We continue to look at the costs associated with the outbreak and to secure the best and most appropriate support for the sector.