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Pre-School Education: Finance

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what consideration local authorities give to the level of private, voluntary and independent nursery sector provision when determining the levels of funding under the free entitlement requirements for providers in the area. (141425)

Funding for nursery education provision is provided to local authorities through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). Local authorities—in consultation with their School Forums—are responsible for deciding how best to apply their total school and early years funding across all age groups and between different types of provider, based on an assessment of local circumstances.

The code of practice on the provision of free nursery education places for three and four-year-olds requires local authorities to ensure settings are funded equitably, transparently and fairly, reflecting local need and circumstances. My letter in December 2006, to all local authority chief executives reiterated this point and asked them to reassure themselves that their funding levels support a diverse local child care market and take into account the impact on provider sustainability.