Early years funding

The Government is reducing Camden’s early years funding and also making changes to how the funding can be used by councils. Because of this, Camden Council can no longer afford to continue its current ‘enhanced’ early years offer.

Currently in Camden, all three and four year olds are entitled to a free 15 hour a week nursery place. The Council also provides an extra 15 hours for all these children (in its school and Council-run nurseries) – taking the ‘enhanced’ total to 30 hours a week.

From September 2017, the Government proposes that all three and four year olds will continue to be entitled to a free 15 hour nursery place, but new national policies mean some families will no longer qualify for the additional 15 hours.

To be eligible for the additional 15 hours:

  • both parents, or the sole parent in a one parent family, must be working
  • each parent must have a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at the national minimum wage or living wage, and
  • neither parent must have income of more than £100,000 per year.

If the Council funded all those who are no longer eligible for the additional 15 hours, we would have a funding gap of more than £5 million, which we cannot afford to fill in the current financial climate.

Revised offer of free nursery provision for Camden

However, the Council believes we can afford to fund the additional 15 hours for some of those who look set to miss out, targeting the available finances at those we believe will benefit the most. The criteria for this revised ‘enhanced’ offer in Camden would be the same as for free two year old places (except it would be targeted at three and four year olds).

From Monday 13 February until midnight on Sunday 5 March 2017 we are consulting parents and providers (schools, nurseries and childminders) on the proposed changes.

Have your say before midnight on Sunday 5 March 2017

Meetings

Come to a meeting on Tuesday, 28 February at either 10.30am to 12 noon at Swiss Cottage Library , 88 Avenue Road NW3 3HA or 3.30 to 5pm at Regent's Park Children's Centre, Augustus Street NW1 3TJ. These are mainly for parents but childcare providers can also attend.

Contact

If you have any questions about these proposals or the consultations, please email earlyyearsfunding@camden.gov.uk





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