Nurseries: Finance

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

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the financial stability of the nursery sector of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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

The early years sector has benefitted from continued 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.

Early years providers have also been able to access a comprehensive package of business support, including a business rates holiday, a small business grant of £10,000, business loans and access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. More details are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.

To provide additional support to businesses to retain employees as demand grows, we are introducing the Job Retention Bonus after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers for each employee who was ever furloughed, has been continuously employed until 31 January 2021 and is still employed by the same employer as of 31 January 2021.

Employees must have been continuously employed, earn an average of more than £520 per month in November, December and January and have been furloughed and successfully claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at any point to be eligible.

Further details about the Job Retention Bonus are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-retention-bonus.

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