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Nurseries: Finance

Question for Department for Education

UIN 130835, tabled on 16 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support his Department provides to non-maintained nurseries.

Answered on

13 January 2021

Nurseries, childminders and pre-schools, who have provided crucial support throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, are now more vital than ever.

We have provided extra security to nurseries and childminders that are open by paying local authorities for the autumn term for childcare places at the level we would have funded before COVID-19 – regardless of how many children were attending.

Early years settings will continue to benefit from a planned £3.6 billion spending in the 2020-21 financial year on our early education entitlements, paid to local authorities to create free early education and childcare places for children.

On SEND, the £14.4 billion funding package we announced for schools in total across three years between 2019-20 and 2022-23 - includes over £730 million additional funding to be allocated in 2021-22 for high needs, which covers children and young people aged 0 to 25. The additional high needs funding will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion next year.

In 2019 the government pledged a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare, including before and after school and during the school holidays. We are already delivering on this pledge with a £220 million Holiday Activities and Food Programme to provide enriching activities and a healthy meal for disadvantaged children in the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced at the Spending Review a £44 million investment in 2021-22, for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers for the government’s free childcare entitlement offers. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We continue to ensure early years providers can access the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.