Network Whispers - Funding, Boris Johnson on nappies, summer-term cut short, £1m boost

Nursery World and National Day Nurseries Association join forces for a behind-the-scenes column

SCHOOL'S IN  Despite Calderdale nurseries voting ‘overwhelmingly’ for an increase to their base rate for 2020/21, there will now be an increase to the deprivation supplement only, which favours council-run settings and schools. A Yorkshire nursery owner said, ‘From the private day nursery view this could be seen as Calderdale taking money out of one pot to fund another pot.’ Calderdale Council said, ‘Funding levels for 2020/21 were agreed following consultation events with both schools and early years settings. The feedback from all these sessions was taken into account when determining funding levels.’

SHORT SUMMER Nurseries are noting the summer term has been reduced because of the late Easter holiday. A group in Leeds discussed the issue of their local authority ‘capping funding amounts’ in what is ‘commonly the busiest term of the year’.

NAPPY STATE The news that PM Boris Johnson will become a father again prompted Good Morning Britain’s Phillip Schofield to ask if he will change nappies. ‘I’m not going to, I, I, well… I’m not going to, I’m not going to, well obviously,’ he said, later adding, ‘I expect so.’ Explaining that he deliberately tried to avoid talking about his family in order to keep them out of the headlines, he acknowledged that this might not stretch as far as refusing to discuss his nappy-changing plans.

GLOS GAIN Gloucester nurseries received a £1 million boost from their local authority. Following pressure from nurseries in NDNA’s Bristol, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire network, Gloucester Council paid all providers based on their funding claims for the year from its £1.5 million underspend, which it reported in an FOI request earlier this year. Nicky Edwards, who has two nurseries in Gloucester, said, ‘This emphasises the importance of being represented on Schools Forums.’

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