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Transformation Fund

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) when he proposes to evaluate the effectiveness of the Transformation Fund; and whether he plans to extend the initiative beyond 2008; (104271)

(2) what proportion of child carers in receipt of support from the Transformation Fund are enrolled on training for (a) level 3, (b) level 4, (c) level 5 and (d) level 6 qualifications;

(3) how many (a) private, (b) voluntary and (c) independent day nurseries have accessed the Transformation Fund to help with the costs of staff training since its inception.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of the Transformation Fund is due to commence in December 2006 and will cover the period until March 2009.

Indicative plans submitted by local authorities for using the Transformation Fund between 2006 and 2008 show that over 26,000 child-carers intend to study for Level 3 qualifications, over 8,500 intend to study for Level 4 qualifications and over 7,000 intend to study for Level 5 qualifications.

These plans also show that over 4,000 settings across the private, voluntary and independent sectors are expected to take up the Quality Premium element of the Fund and therefore employ a graduate who will work towards the new Early Years Professional Status, which is assessed at level 6. The plans do not, however, provide a breakdown of take up of the Quality Premium between the sectors; and, although the plans show the number of staff expected to undertake Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5 qualifications, they do not identify the number of settings involved in accessing this funding.

Local authorities are next due to submit a report on the take-up of the Transformation Fund in spring 2007. This will provide further details about how the funding is being used and the number of settings that are benefiting.

Funding in 2008-09 and beyond is subject to the outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, which is currently under way.