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Early Education Funding

Volume 667: debated on Thursday 31 October 2019

Today I am confirming the final hourly funding rates for the free early education entitlements in 2020-21. In total we are planning to spend more than £3.6 billion in 2020-21 to support nurseries and child minders in England to deliver high-quality care and education.

As a result of the additional funding announced by the Chancellor at the spending round for early years, we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities for the two-year-old entitlement by 8p an hour. Funding for the three and four-year-old entitlement will also increase by 8p an hour in the vast majority of areas. We are increasing the minimum funding floor for the three and four-year-old offer to £4.38p.

Thirteen councils have had their 2019-20 hourly funding rates for three and four-year-olds protected by the “loss cap” in the early years national funding formula, to ensure that they do not face large drops to their funding rate. Funding for all these councils will be maintained in 2020-21. Loss cap areas are: Bradford, Bristol, Camden, Derbyshire, Ealing, Halton, Islington, Lambeth, Rutland, Southwark, Sunderland, Tower Hamlets, and Westminster.

I can also confirm today that supplementary funding for maintained nursery schools (MNS) will continue, at its current rate, for the whole of the 2020-21 financial year. I can also confirm that the Government remain committed to funding for MNS in the longer term; and that any reform to the way they are funded in future will be accompanied with funding protections.

Further details and guidance will be published on