The consultation looked at reforms to the schools funding mechanism across the whole of the Dedicated Schools Grant, the fund which covers schooling for 3-16 year olds and includes the funding for free early years education for three and four year olds.
A key point made in NDNA’s response was that funding for two-year-olds should sit within the Dedicated Schools Grant, rather than the Early Intervention Grant which is not ring fenced.
NDNA also called for a simpler Early Years Funding Formula, highlighted that the voice of early years in the schools forum needs to be strengthened, and that the early years block of funding must be spent solely on early years, with clear reporting so DfE, local providers and parents can see how the money is spent.
NDNA welcomed the government’s recent commitment to a doubling of the pupil premium for disadvantaged children aged five and over but would like to see a similar investment in early years, given the impact that early investment can have on children’s outcomes.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “Many of our member nurseries have been concerned that they do not currently receive the required funding to cover the costs per child of delivering free, high quality nursery education. NDNA believes a simpler, fairer and more transparent funding allocation and distribution process is needed to ensure funding for free nursery education reaches the frontline of provision at a level sustainable for all types of providers, enabling high quality provision.
“The doubling of the pupil premium for over fives is a positive step but we would also welcome an investment like this for early years. This would benefit children at a crucial time and ensure a consistent focus and capacity to invest throughout a child’s life as well as supporting the government’s ambitions for early intervention and social mobility.
“It is also important that these reforms happen as soon as possible, given the challenges that nurseries are facing at present.”
Notes to editors:
• National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a national charity representing children’s day nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children. NDNA is the voice of the sector, an integral part of the lives of nearly one million children and their families.
• For more information, to arrange interviews or photographs please contact Lindsay Garfitt, Senior PR and Policy Officer, on 01484 40 70 66 or Lindsay.Garfitt@
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National Day Nurseries Association is a national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children.