Nurseries: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support being provided to nurseries during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

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

On 17 December 2020, the government announced a return to funding early years settings on the basis of attendance.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.

Furthermore, we have provided additional support to the early years sector during the COVID-19 outbreak, making grants and loans available and ensuring early years providers can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for their non-government funded income, and childminders the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). We continue to ensure that providers can access the support available.

On 17 December, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that both the CJRS and SEISS will be extended to April 2021. We also updated the CJRS guidance for Early Years so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff (who were on payroll on or before 30 October 2020) and who are not required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Where Early Years providers are struggling financially, they may be eligible to access support from the Additional Restrictions Grant, if not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes. Further information on these grants is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-open-businesses. We will keep under constant review what further support businesses may require.

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