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Hundreds of nurseries in England could close due to ‘free childcare’ plans

Closures could happen because of proposals for 30 hours a week of free childcare.

 

It estimates that, after the two years’ of extra support ends, 80 per cent of maintained nursery schools would see a drop in funding of 25 per cent or more.

Valerie Daniel, headteacher of Washwood Heath Nursery School in Birmingham, said beyond the transitional funding, the government has “no plans to secure their future”.

‘’This will lead to a massive loss for nursery schools, with larger settings potentially losing more than £200,000 from their current budgets, which have already been hit by local budget cuts.

I fear that a significant loss to maintained nursery budgets will create a ripple effect on safeguarding the most vulnerable children in the region.’’

John Pugh, the Lib Dem education spokesman, said: “The Government are brick by brick dismantling many of the educational achievements of the coalition government. Evidence shows that solid progress in the nursery sector does more for social mobility than selection at 11 but yet again ideology trumps evidence.

“This lethal combination of haphazard planning and prejudice will decimate one of the most treasured and valued sectors of our educational system.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Education said ‘’ Our proposals for supplementary funding, which takes account of maintained nursery schools’ current funding rates, are for at least two years.

This extra funding will provide stability for nursery schools, which make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children.

The funding is part of our record investment in early years – £6 billion per year by 2020. We will be consulting with the maintained nursery schools’ sector on future funding in due course.’’ 

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