29 September 2009

Funding Early Years should be easier than this

The last meeting of the Kingston Schools Forum deliberated at length on the funding of Early Years, that is settings (nurseries to you and me) for pre-school children. The Government, quite rightly in my opinion, wants to increase the provision in this sector and to achieve most of this expansion through the Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) providers.

Local Authorities need to introduce a funding formula for all Early Years providers, i.e. those maintained by the Local Authority itself and those maintained by the PVI sector, to ensure that funding is fair and is also sufficient for the increased entitlement children have to nursery education.

The problem is that a simple and reasonable aim has been turned by Kingston Council into a complex formula that takes 7 pages to explain and requires a further 6 pages of examples to tr and bring some clarity to proceedings.

Because the formula is too complex (as it is with the main formula for funding mainstream schools) nobody really understands it and even fewer understand the implications of it so we run the risk that it will not work and this does not become apparent until it is too late to fix.

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