NDNA predicts impact of funding shake-up

The potential winners and losers in the Government's national funding formula shake-up are detailed in new data analysis by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), provided exclusively to Nursery World.

The potential winners and losers in the Government's national funding formula shake-up are detailed in new data analysis by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), provided exclusively to Nursery World.

A six-week consultation on the proposals was launched on 11 August, when it was confirmed that most councils are set to get more cash to pass on to providers and incentivise them to offer the 30 hours.

The Department for Education (DfE) revealed that as many as one in four local authorities are on course to receive less than they currently do, but these are not named. The final figures will depend on local authority funding decisions and also any changes in the current financial year, with the rates due to be published in the autumn.

The data provides a ready comparison of the new proposed illustrative rates due from 2017, with the planned local authority spending data for the 2015/16 financial year.

NDNA chief executive Purnima Tanuku said, ‘We have put all the relevant information together for our members so they are well informed before responding to the funding consultation.

‘It's welcome that the DfE has published these illustrative rates. Providers need this information to start considering the implications for their businesses in the coming year, particularly in light of the roll out of the 30 funded hours.

‘Providers will need to look at their actual current funding rates to compare them to these expected rates.’

The long-awaited new deal, worth an extra £300m a year to the sector and intended to create a fairer system via a fixed base rate, has been broadly welcomed by the sector. However, those local authorities predicted to lose out may find the claims of fairness difficult to swallow. Most of the biggest rises are seen in the capital (see box).

Ms Tanuku urged the ‘whole sector to get involved’ in the consultation, which closes on 22 September, and she particularly called for providers to engage with their local authorities about the detail of their local formulae.

‘Most providers stand to gain, but there are a small number of areas where providers will be faced with a reduction in funding, which is a concern for us, especially given the proportion of providers reporting that current rates are just not sufficient to cover their current delivery costs,’ she added.

The NDNA is keen to work with the DfE to understand the methodology behind the calculations. Ms Tanuku said, ‘We will be consulting with members and looking to hold consultation events, inviting representatives of the DfE.’

NDNA PREDICTIONS

Significant decreases

Slough: down 64p to £5.46

Stoke on Trent: down 33p to £4.15

North Lincs: down 50p to £3.80

Bradford: down 41p to £4.78

Significant increases (highest in London)

Kensington and Chelsea: up £3.23 to £7.05

Camden: up £3.36 to £8.24

Manchester: up £1.04 to £4.53

Bristol: up £1.36 to £5.36

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