Rather disappointingly, two weeks later we are still in limbo, despite mutterings that the announcement is imminent.
It is the holidays, I suppose, but even so, it leaves the early years sector with the feeling that this isn’t being viewed as a priority.
And talking of holidays, the deadline for applying for capital funding to expand provision for the 30-hour offer is 31 August, creating difficulties for many settings who would like to try for funding, but may only just have heard details or are perhaps closed for summer.
The whole process seemsto be working in a rather awkward way, as our feature on page 30 shows. Bids have to be submitted through local authorities, who had to have expressed interest by April. So if your local authority hasn’t submitted an ‘expression of interest’ you won’t be able to apply.
Many early years providers don’t appear to even be aware of the £50 million up for grabs, and others have only just been contacted by local authorities with a few weeks of summer holidays to go before the deadline. Added to this, you need to receive at least 25 per cent of funding for your project from outside, which given that funding rates for the 30 hours are not yet known, will be a real barrier for many bids.
Pay and conditions
With the Workforce Strategy looming, Nursery World and Pre-school Learning Alliance are running a survey on early years pay and conditions. Please take a few minutes to participate at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EYemployment.