Nursery child care in Birmingham is set to get a £1.5 million funding boost from the city council to ensure there is enough good quality provision across the city.
Cabinet is being asked to approve the increase to the Early Education Entitlement (EEE) funding rate for youngsters aged two, three and four at private, voluntary and independent (PVI) child care settings.
Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We need to ensure that our youngest children have the best possible care at such an important stage in their development.
“All two-, three- and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours’ free early education but for many places it costs more to provide the service than they get in funding. So if we don’t provide this vital extra support there is a real danger that many of these places could go out of business, and children would lose out. So it is absolutely right that we take this step to support these places that provide such an important service.
“However, this is not the end of the process; we have just launched a consultation into the new-look early years health and well-being services as well as a comprehensive review of the early years funding formula for early education.”
Following concerns from the PVI sector, Birmingham City Council commissioned an independent report that set out the costs of providing early years education. The increase in rates will be funded from the dedicated schools grant.
Sarah Presswood, chair of the Birmingham PVI Support Association, said: “Birmingham PVI Support Association is pleased that after a long campaign and the publication of an independent report into the funding levels paid to private, voluntary and independent providers of nursery education, Birmingham City Council has recognised the underfunding of the sector and is seeking to redress this with an emergency increase to these funding levels. We look forward to working with the local authority on a full review of the funding rates paid to all nursery providers to ensure fair and sustainable levels of funding from next April.”
The full cabinet report can be found here: FINAL – Cabinet Report EEE Rates Increase Dec 15 v0 5 – 25.11.15
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