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Nurseries: Finance

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take action to assist nurseries and childcare organisations which no longer receive funding from the National Nursery Initiative and are ineligible to become children’s centres; and if he will make a statement. (145018)

1,400 Neighbourhood Nurseries were set up under the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative (NNI) which ran from 2002 until 2007, in the most disadvantaged areas within local authorities. 774 of these will become children’s centres by March 2008 while others will link to children's centres for delivery of childcare places. The remainder will continue to operate as stand alone nurseries.

All NNs were required to develop a five-year business plan, demonstrating sustainability when Government funding ended.

Any Neighbourhood Nursery experiencing difficulty when their Government funding comes to an end, should contact their local authority in the first instance. They can provide support for business planning and marketing and in some circumstances may be able to provide financial support to aid sustainability. From 2008, all local authorities will have a duty to secure sufficient childcare in their areas and former Neighbourhood Nurseries will have a substantial part to play in that.