Barbara questioned Childcare Minister Liz Truss at Westminster about the government’s plans for funding allocation changes which could affect enhanced school nursery provision in Salford.
Salford City Council aims to provide 25 hours of free school nursery provision to all three and four year olds in Salford, which is ten hours more than the national legal minimum. However, the funding for enhanced nursery provision in Salford is now at risk due to planned Government changes to funding allocations to schools.
Salford Council has been forced to hand control of the extra funding for school nurseries to primary school head teachers, to try to protect the funding for the nursery provision. This change also means that head teachers may not use the funding for nursery provision in the way intended when their funding allocations from Government change in future.
“I am glad that despite the loss of £100 million in its budgets from Central Government, Salford Council is prioritising help to those hard-pressed parents who need better school nursery provision.
“I know that Salford Council’s aim to provide 25 hours of free nursery care to 3 and 4 year olds in our schools will be a real help to those parents. I asked the Childcare Minister why Government changes to school funding allocations could act to undermine the Council’s aim to provide extra hours of nursery provision in our schools.
“The Minister claimed that the costs of childcare have stabilised under the Conservative-led government but in fact they have risen by a third under this Government, rising five times faster than wages. While the Government clearly fails to understand this issue, a Labour government elected in 2015 would extend free childcare for all working parents of three and four year olds to 25 hours per week”