To ask the Secretary of State for Education, why the formula used to calculate the Supplementary Funding for Maintained Nursery Schools for 2018-19 will not recognise the contribution maintained nursery schools are making to the delivery of the Government’s 30 hours free childcare programme by funding the additional 15 hours at the same hourly rate as the universal entitlement, and what assessment he has made of whether maintained nursery schools will be sustainable under this formula.
Maintained nursery schools make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children, and as is the case for all early years providers, it is for local authorities to decide the rate of funding that they receive. Our supplementary funding of around £60 million a year enables local authorities to maintain their pre-Early Years National Funding Formula funding position for maintained nursery schools.
Maintained nursery schools can choose to offer the full 30 hours entitlement, but local authorities will need to be mindful that nursery schools may have to reduce the number of universal entitlement places they offer in order to deliver the full entitlement. For nursery schools that cannot or do not want to offer the full entitlement themselves, we would encourage them to consider a range of options for being involved in the delivery of the entitlement, including working in partnership with other providers.
We continue to work closely with the maintained nursery schools sector.