Maintained nursery schools make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. They also experience costs over and above those of other early years providers. That is why we are providing local authorities with around £60 million a year of supplementary funding, to enable them to protect maintained nursery schools’ funding at least until 2019-20. What happens after this will be determined by the next Spending Review, and informed by research we are carrying out on the value offered by maintained nursery schools.
There is a presumption against the closure of maintained nursery schools. This does not mean that they will never close, but when they do, local authorities have a statutory requirement to ensure that alternative provision: is of at least equal quality; maintains expertise and specialism; and is more accessible and convenient for local parents.