Government invest some £3 billion each year in the delivery of the free entitlement to nursery education for three and four-year-olds. Funding is provided for local authorities through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and is intended to cover provision delivered in accordance with the core foundation stage curriculum and the National Day Care Standards by providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors.
At the Education and Skills oral question session on 8 February I mentioned that an additional £3 billion each year is allocated to local authorities for children's centres and other aspects of Sure Start, early years and child care delivery. I should clarify that funding of £3 billion for the period 2006 to 2008 has been allocated to local authorities through the General Sure Start Grant (GSSG) and includes funding for Sure Start children's centres, extended schools, inclusion, workforce development, child care affordability and sustainability initiatives, and the implementation of the new duties in the Childcare Act. Local Authorities have the freedom to decide how much is spent on each of these areas within the main revenue and main capital elements of GSSG. An analysis of spend in each area will not be available until later in the year.