Nurseries: Covid-19 Education Catch-up Fund

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Labour, Wansbeck

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether maintained nurseries are able to access Catch Up Grant funding.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are investing £1 billion in the COVID catch up fund. £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools to support all pupils over the 2020-21 academic year and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people over the same period. This includes £9 million to expand the Nuffield Early Language Intervention to support reception-aged children with poor language skills.

This funding is being focused on primary and secondary schools so they can help pupils catch up on time spent out of school. Early education is also vital, and we have prioritised getting the youngest children back into their childcare settings as quickly as possible. They have been able to return to nurseries and childminders since 1 June, so they have missed out on less education.

We will continue to support children’s early language and literacy skills through the Hungry Little Minds campaign.

Furthermore, the sector has benefitted from continued early years entitlement funding during the COVID-19 outbreak, on which we are planning to spend over £3.6 billion in 2020-21. On 20 July, we announced our commitment to continue funding local authorities for childcare this autumn term at the same levels as seen prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of whether fewer children are attending. If providers are open but caring for fewer children as a result of low demand, either from parents or due to public health reasons, they can continue to be funded for the autumn term at broadly the levels that they would have expected to see had there been no COVID-19 outbreak.

For maintained nursery schools, we also recently announced that they will continue to receive supplementary funding for the whole the 2020-21 academic year.

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