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£400m "little extras" fund is available to maintained nurseries

By Rachel Lawler
 
Child playground nursery funding
A portion of the £400 million additional education funding, announced in last week’s Budget, will be available to maintained nursery schools.
 
Nadhim Zahawi, parliamentary under-secretary of state for Education, confirmed the news in response to a written question from Labour MP Lucy Powell.
 
Zahawi said: “I can confirm that maintained nursery schools will benefit from the funding, along with primary and secondary schools academies and free schools, non-maintained special schools, pupil referral units, and sixth-form colleges.”
 
He added that the final list of allocations would be published in the new year.
 
"Little extras"
Chancellor Phillip Hammond said that the funding could be used to pay for “little extras”, in comments that drew widespread criticism from the education sector.
 
The Budget has also attracted criticism for failing to address the funding shortfall in the early years sector.


PVI sector
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “It’s bad enough that the capital funding for schools announced in the Budget will do very little to safeguard the futures of maintained nursery schools, many of which are struggling for survival in the face of upcoming funding changes.
 
“But if maintained nursery schools are wondering how to stretch out the Chancellor’s ‘little extras’ in order to stay open – spare a thought for the childminders, pre-schools and nurseries who weren’t even given the small consideration.
 
“PVI providers currently deliver more than 80% of 30-hours places. Why is it, then, that the government is so determined to turn a blind eye to the financial struggles of such a vital part of the childcare sector?
 
“It’s clear to anyone with any understanding of the early years that what’s really needed is a fairer funding system for all providers, where rates are increased to cover current costs and are regularly reviewed to ensure that they continue to do so. Anything less, including one-off flashes of generosity available only to a tiny minority of providers, will do nothing to address systemic underfunding that is leaving parents out of pocket and forcing providers out of business.”