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Voluntary and Community Sector Prospectus

Volume 551: debated on Friday 26 October 2012

The Department for Education is today publishing a national prospectus launching our new grants programme for 2013-15. It also describes a number of additional key services and activities that we will be investing in for the benefit of children, young people and families over the course of the next two years.

The package will be worth up to an estimated £60 million made up of £30 million of grant funding and £30 million of contracts, in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.

It follows the £60 million annual grant investment in both 2011-12 and 2012-13, announced in February last year. That investment specifically included funding to help successful bidders remodel their long-term financing to help them reduce their dependence on central Government grants once the current two-year funding period ends.

The national prospectus grants programme 2013-15 will provide up to £30 million in grant funding each year in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The scheme will focus on delivering the following five priorities:

Promote excellence in early education and child care, so enabling all children to achieve success in their early years and later education.

Develop and reform safeguarding services that protect and support children at risk of harm.

Develop and reform the care system and speed up the process of adoption.

Develop and reform services that support children with SEN, disabilities and other health needs.

Focus and develop local services to support improved outcomes for young people, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

We are inviting applications from voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises and other organisations bidding on a “not for profit” basis.

We hope to receive new, innovative proposals for work which can make a real difference on the ground and inform and guide national policy in our priority areas.

Funding will be available for two years from 1 April 2013. The grants programme application process opens today. Bids must be received by noon on 30 November 2012. The accompanying grants prospectus sets out the details of the bidding process.

In addition to the grants programme we will be continuing to invest in services for children, young people and their families through funding a number of services for specific activities that meet our policy priorities.

The prospectus provides brief details of a number of contracted services which we expect to procure in the coming months. We expect to make announcements about contracts for a range of new relationship support services later this year.

We have also recently announced that we will be continuing funding for a number of online and telephone family support services.

Taken together in conjunction with the grants programme we estimate up to £60 million will be made available to support these activities and services for children and families in each year in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

A copy of the national prospectus has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.