Further to the story published on 11 October 2019 there has been an update from Government today (31 October 2019), detailed below.
The Government confirmed today that the two year old entitlement for all local authorities and the vast majority of areas for the three and four year old entitlement in England will increase by 8p an hour. They have also announced that they are increasing the funding floor, meaning that no authority will receive less than £4.38 an hour for the three and four year old entitlement.
Liz Bayram further comments;
"Any increase in the rate for funded hours is a step in the right direction but this small up lift isn’t adequate when set alongside major expenditure increases like the living wage, which providers will have to cover. We have to have a long term funding plan for early education places, one that ensures fewer settings face closure and all children can access the high quality place they deserve. With an election in Westminster looming, PACEY will continue to call on all political parties to ensure current entitlements are properly funded as well as any future proposals they may have to extend the entitlements families receive, including those for two year olds."
Read more about the update on the GOV.UK website here.
Story originally published 11 October 2019
The figures being published will show how the extra £14 million the Prime Minister previously promised for schools and high needs for the next three years in England will be divided up. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has advised that the biggest increases will go to the schools that ‘need it most’.
Funding is set to be available from April 2020 and Schools and Local Authorities will be finding out today how the Government is allocating the first part of this investment £2.6 million for the coming year. There will be an increase in funding levels for the two year old entitlement across all local authorities and an increase for almost all local authorities’ three and four year old entitlement in England.
PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram comments:
“It is good that today’s announcement setting out Local Authorities’ school and high needs funding allocation for next year includes a commitment to increase funding levels for all two year olds receiving their entitlement and for almost all local authorities’ three and four year old entitlement funding levels. This means government has at last acknowledged the ongoing underfunding that childminders, pre-schools and nurseries have suffered. However there is a long way still to go. Local authorities now have to use this allocation to address underfunding in schools; SEND provision as well as early education. It won’t resolve all the concerns that PACEY and others have raised on behalf of early years settings nor recognise the ongoing increase in costs for these settings. Local authorities will now start to consult via their school forums on how this funding is allocated. We would encourage all local early years settings to be involved in their local consultations. PACEY will continue to focus on the case for higher levels of longer term funding through the government’s next full comprehensive spending review. We still need long term sustainable funding for early education entitlements, funding that covers the actual cost of delivery and increases every year, just as the cost of delivery increases every year for childminders, nurseries and pre-schools.”