Free childcare offers to continue during Covid-19 closures

Vicky Ford has confirmed that funding for the government’s early years entitlements will continue during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures.

The Children and Families Minister said that the government will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the free entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds, providing reassurance for early years settings in light of coronavirus.

The Department for Education expects that local authorities should follow its position and continue to pass on the government funding it receives for these entitlements to providers, in the event that any are advised to close by Public Health England or children are not able to attend due to coronavirus, to minimise short-term disruption.

The government has also confirmed today that there will be no rise in the fees paid by early years and childcare providers to register with Ofsted in 2020-21.

Public Health England advice continues to be that all educational settings, including nurseries, preschools and childminders, should remain open unless advised otherwise.

Ford said: “I want to thank all the early years practitioners who day-in and day-out do such an excellent job. I know these must be difficult times and I hope these announcements show that we are listening to their concerns and taking urgent action. I particularly want to thank the Early Years Alliance, the National Day Nurseries Association, and the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years for their engagement at this critical time.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson added: “Millions of parents rely on childcare and the vital service provided by nurseries, childminders and preschools. Making sure that young children can be cared for safely so that their parents are able to work where required is of the utmost importance now more than ever. In recognition of this, we will continue to pay for all free early years entitlements places, even in the event that settings are closed on the advice of Public Health England, or children are not able to attend due to coronavirus, and we will not be asking for funding back from local authorities.”

Read more

Supplier Focus

Iplicit

An award-winning accounting solution for MATs of all sizes, iplicit for Education has a modern, user-friendly interface that will resonate with busy finance teams and senior leaders. As you grow, iplicit empowers you to add schools quickly and efficiently.