Nurseries: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many state-maintained children's nurseries are in deficit; and what assessment they have made of the implications for the viability of such nurseries and for children's early years educational needs.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Information regarding the finances of local authority-run maintained day nurseries is not held centrally. However, data on maintained nursery schools (MNS) are published as part of statistics on local authority and school expenditure. They show that in 2017-18, there were 80 MNS in deficit. Funding decisions, including the services provided, spend and how to manage deficits, are a matter for the relevant local authority and MNS to agree.

MNS make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. They experience costs that other providers do not, and we are providing local authorities with around £60 million a year in supplementary funding to enable them to protect MNS’ funding.

This arrangement is due to end in March 2020, and what happens after that will be determined by the next Spending Review. Owing to uncertainty over the exact date of the Spending Review, we are considering how best to handle transitional arrangements for a number of areas, including MNS.

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