We need urgent funding for early years and maintained nursery schools now to prevent closures in this vital sector.
The DfE’s own figures show that the percentage of MNS in deficit has risen from 3.5% in 2009-10 to 20.8% in 2019-20 and the total deficit rose from £6.7m to £8.8m over that last year, indicating a rapid escalation of difficulties for the worst affected schools. That, of course, was before the pandemic hit. Joint research with Early Education, NAHT and Unison has found that as many as 46% were in deficit by March 2021 as a result of the additional costs and loss of income due to Covid-19.
Government supplementary funding of £60 million (30% of MNS budgets) annually has never been linked to inflation and was due to end in March 2022.
MNS need adequate funding and a long-term funding solution so they can continue the essential work they do every day.