Building on Frontier’s work with the Department for Education (DfE) highlighting the significant contribution of Maintained Nursery Schools (MNS) to early childcare provision, the Department yesterday confirmed the continuation of the £23 million support package for MNS until summer 2021.
They also introduced a separate fund to support Early Years’ language skills for children whose education has been disrupted by the pandemic.
Our report for DfE analysed the delivery costs of MNS and other comparable providers, examining how they differ from other early years providers, particularly in the quality of childcare offered and in the provision of additional and specialist services. We identified some of the reasons why the provision of early years education is more costly in MNS than other providers, and also helped to reflect the impact of MNS on the wider community, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
MNS often care for higher numbers of disadvantaged pupils most at risk of falling behind. It’s widely recognised that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges in the early years sector and the new measures are designed to provide financial stability and support children who need it most. They should help to reduce the long-term effects on those children who have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic.
Confirmation of the extra funding for MNS into the summer term of 2021 will provide local authorities with some reassurance for the year ahead, in advance of longer-term arrangements for MNS being set out in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
You can read our full report into Maintained Nursery Schools and their contribution to early years provision in full here.