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MP demands end to nursery funding scandal

January 16, 2019 5:35 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Education Secretary Damian Hinds urging him to change the funding formula to prevent further closures to local nurseries.

Just before Christmas two nurseries in Kendal, Safehands and PlayBase, announced they were closing leading to dozens of people losing their jobs and around 140 children losing their vital pre-school education places.

Nurseries are expected to offer the Government's flagship 30 free hours of childcare for children aged between 3-4 years old, but typically receive less than £5 per hour per child from the Government.

According to the National Day Nurseries Association, the number of nurseries closing across the country has increased by two-thirds since the 30 free hours of childcare was introduced back in 2017.

Tim said: "The sudden closures of Safehands and PlayBase in Kendal was incredibly saddening for staff members, parents and children alike.

"The harsh reality is that the current funding agreement is leading to nurseries actually being disincentivised from taking on more children for fear of going out of business.

"If the Government is truly serious about early years education then it needs to properly address this funding scandal which is leading to so many nurseries going under."