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Councils to see funding boost to support childcare and early education

Funding boost to be distributed to councils across England to deliver free childcare places, allowing parents to work more flexibly and support children’s early development.

The surge in funding comes following the Chancellor’s declaration of an extra £66 million investment in the early years as part of the spending review.

Part of the additional investment will go to making sure nurseries and childminders can support some of the most disadvantaged children, with an increase in hourly funding for all councils offering 15 hours free children for disadvantaged two-year-olds. The vast majority of areas providing free 30 hours places for working parents of three and four-year-olds will also receive an increase in the hourly rate.

Growing the minimum hourly funding rate will also mean that no authorities will see less than £4. 38 per hour per child for three and four-year olds.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also confirmed continuation of supplementary funding for Maintained Nursery Schools for 2020-21, providing reassurance for these settings which tend to care for higher numbers of disadvantaged children, often most at risk of falling behind.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “A child’s early education is crucial to their future success which is why we are increasing our hourly funding rates for councils so that they can continue to deliver high quality and free childcare places.

Over one million children every year are now benefitting from the Government’s record investment in childcare and early years education – which will have reached £3.6 billion by next year. This will give families the flexibility they need to be able to balance their work and family lives.”

The funding will also see a handful of areas that have historically received higher levels of funding having their current funding rates for three and four-year-olds protected by 2020-21.

This additional funding follows the announcement that we are investing a total of £14 billion additional funding in schools over the next three years to 2022-23. Schools found out earlier this month how the first part of that investment - £2.6 billion - will be allocated for the coming year. Every secondary school will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year and every primary school will receive a minimum of £3,750 next year, before receiving at least £4,000 from 2021-22.


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