West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper raised concerns about nursery school funding in West Lancashire in the House of Commons, during Education Questions.
On Monday, MP Rosie challenged the Education Minister Nick Gibb about the threatened closure of nurseries because of funding issues.
Recent Lancashire County Council reports highlight pressures on early years funding and the considerable strain on all types of early years providers in recent years.
Challenging the Minister, Rosie Cooper MP asked:
“As nursery schools in my constituency are threatened with closure, may I ask the Secretary of State what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for local councils to fund children’s services and nursery provision? We cannot have nurseries close like this.”
Education Minister, Nick Gibb responded:
“As I said, we have just announced £66 million of extra funding for the coming financial year, which means 8p an hour for early years providers in most local authorities. In addition, we have also announced a £60 million top-up for maintained nursery schools. We continue to monitor the marketplace to ensure that there is sufficient provision, and we keep that under review, but, as I said, a £66 million increase was agreed for the coming financial year.”
Afterwards, Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“This will do little to plug the gap for funding nurseries across the whole country. Nurseries here in West Lancashire still face an uncertain future as despite the uplift of 8p per hour, funding for 2-4 year olds in Lancashire remain the lowest in the country according to Lancashire County Council.
“LCC face reducing budgets and the knock-on effect is felt by our children, teachers and parents.
“Government needs to show it is serious and reverse its Local Authority budget cuts enabling them to provide good quality services for Council taxpayers.”