Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has declared success in the campaign to protect the future of Maintained Nursery Schools, after the Government confirmed their funding for 2020-21 and a commitment to long term funding protections in future.
The announcement came alongside other funding announcements for nurseries that will see an increase in their minimum hourly funding rate, and follows the announcement of an additional £66m. investment in the early years as part of the spending review.
There are 397 Maintained Nursery Schools across the country, which unlike most nurseries are funded by local authorities, with five in Mr Stephenson’s Pendle constituency. They tend to care for higher numbers of disadvantaged children, often those most at risk of falling behind.
Mr Stephenson has been part of the campaign to secure their long-term funding and had recently raised the issue with Education Ministers and the Chancellor ahead of the Budget, before it was postponed. His role in the campaign has been welcomed by headteachers of local Maintained Nursery Schools.
Mr Stephenson said: “This decision guarantees the future for Pendle’s Maintained Nurseries and is extremely welcome.
“Having argued hard that the Government needed to provide clarity on this, I’m delighted by today’s news. I know Pendle’s Maintained Nurseries were concerned about their immediate future, not to mention those families that benefit from the excellent early education they provide.”