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Maintained nurseries

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Jennette Arnold Jennette Arnold Labour

The National Education Union and others have recently handed a petition to Downing Street calling on the Prime Minister to make a funding commitment in the Spring Budget on 11 March 2020 that secures the long-term future of maintained nursery schools. What assessment have you made of the financial health of London’s maintained nurseries, and will you support the petition?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Every child deserves the best start in life. Maintained nursery schools (MNS) play a crucial role in supporting families to access quality early education.

Current funding allocations support MNS in the short term but do not provide a viable long-term solution. In 2017, when the government introduced the Early Years National Funding Formula they committed to maintaining level funding for MNS through supplementary funding until a long-term solution was put in place. However, four years later, no long-term solution has been proposed and funding is allocated at the same rate as in 2016-17. Analysis by Early Education (The British Association for Early Childhood Education) shows that this represents an 8 per cent funding cut in real terms, increasing to 14 per cent when you account for the increase in costs faced by early years providers.

I continue to support the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools, Nursery and Reception Classes’ campaign to provide long term funding for MNS and wholeheartedly support the National Education Union’s petition. I will continue to make a case to the government for adequate funding of early years provision, including maintained nursery schools.