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Children's Centres

Education written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of George Galloway George Galloway Respect, Bradford West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether the funding of new nursery places will be in addition to the funding of children's centres; and whether the funding of such children's centres will be cut in the (a) current and (b) next financial year.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government is providing additional funding to extend early education places to two-year-olds from lower income households, rising to £760 million in 2014-15. From 2013-14 this funding will be included in the Dedicated Schools Grant. The Government announced additional funding allocations to local authorities on 27 November 2012. Details can be accessed on the Department's website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/earlylearningandchildcare/delivery/Free%20Entitlement%20to%20Early%20Education/b0070114/eefortwoyearolds/la-funding-allocations

In April 2011 the Department for Education introduced the Early Intervention Grant (EIG). The grant is un-ringfenced and does not contain any notional allocations for different policy areas. This gives local authorities greater freedom and flexibility in how they spend their funding, enabling them to make judgments based on local needs and what works best. Subject to that local decision making, the EIG can support a full range of services for children, young people and families including Sure Start children's centres. Information on 2012-13 EIG funding levels is available at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/earlylearningandchildcare/a0070357/early-intervention-grant-frequently-asked-questions/?cid=LAemail&pla=25feb2011&type=email

The EI—along with a number of other central Government grants—will from 2013-14 become part of the new local government funding scheme (the Business Rates Retention scheme). The EIG allocation for local authorities will be visible within Business Rates Retention funding in 2013-14 and 2014-15. For more information on 2013-14 and 2014-15 EIG levels see:

http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/1314/settle.htm

As the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend Michael Gove, has explained, the overall funding for early intervention is increasing, from £2.2 billion in 2011-12 to £2.5 billion in 2014-15. The transfer of funding for early education for two-year-olds from lower income households from the EIG to the Dedicated Schools Grant reduced the size of the EIG from 2012-13 to 2013-14. However, this funding is still allocated to local authorities. In 2013-14 the total EIG itself will be £1,708,918,200, and in 2014-15 it will be £1,600,026,400.

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