Proposals for local authority nurseries

This consultation is 'to seek a school or education based solution to maximise the local authority nursery provision in the city'. This would mean that the local authority day nurseries would no longer be operated and managed by the council and that a schools or education provider would take over their management and operation.

How the funding works

The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) is made up of three blocks: early years block, high needs block and schools block.

The latter provides schools with their budgets directly. Early years and high needs block have grant conditions attached to their spend.

The DSG overspend in early years block from 2018/19 is a new area of budget pressure. The early years block under spent in 2017/18 by £427,000 however, due to changes in the early years funding formula, implemented in April 2017, and previous budget decisions to switch core budget to early years DSG, this will not be the case going forward.

The new formula will limit the 3 and 4 year old funding that can be centrally retained by the LA and instead the funding will be distributed to all early years providers. By 2018/19 the anticipated pressure on the early years block will be a £1.75 million overspend. This pressure is projected to be recurrent.

Nursery provision across the city

Across the city we have a total of 4,234 early education and childcare places for 0-5 year olds in early years settings in the private, voluntary and independent sector with only 327 places being offered in the LA nurseries. In addition to this we also have 2,639 places available for 3 and 4 year olds in school nurseries.

Overall the LA day nurseries only provide 4.7% of early education and childcare places across the city.

Consultation

A formal 30 day stakeholder consultation ran from: Friday 7 September 2018 until Thursday 18 October 2018. The consultation is now closed.

Frequently asked questions

Which local authority day nurseries are affected by the consultation proposal?

The local authority nurseries that are affected by the consultation include:

  • Little Hulton Nursery - Longshaw Drive, Little Hulton, Salford M28 0BD
  • Belvedere Nursery - White Beam Close, Off Belvedere Road, Pendleton, Salford M6 5EJ
  • Winton Nursery - Brindley Street, Salford M30 8AB
  • Higher Broughton Nursery - Broughton Hub, 50 Rigby Street, Salford M7 4BQ
  • Barton Moss Nursery - Trippier Road, Eccles, Salford M30 7PT

Salford’s Children Centres are not affected by the consultation on the future of Salford’s five local authority day nurseries. Some of the council’s nurseries are in the same building as Children Centres.

What are the details of the consultation process?

The consultation is to find a more cost effective way to deliver the local authority nurseries; it is not about ceasing the services that the nurseries provide. We welcome proposals from all parties (parents, staff, schools, and the private, voluntary and independent sector) to run the nurseries more cost effectively.

A formal 90 day stakeholder consultation will run from Monday 26 March 2018 to midnight on Monday 25 June 2018.

During this, we welcome and encourage proposals from all parties, (parents, staff or the voluntary, independent and private sector). If a solution can be found which is more cost effective, we would be delighted to support this.

We are committed to supporting anyone who has alternative, affordable proposals to keep the nurseries open, this could include support for alternative mutual provision of this service.

Whilst these options for the future of the nurseries are being explored, the City Mayor has temporarily committed money to guarantee that the nurseries will remain with the local authority to the end of the next academic year. For term time only funded children and/or children moving to a school nursery or reception class this will be at the end of July 2019 and for all fee paying children or funded children with stretched hours this will be until the start of September 2019.

Once the formal consultation commences on Monday 26 March 2018 we will hold Parent Focus Groups as well as individual meetings to ensure that the views of the parents, families and children are heard in this consultation.

There will also be a questionnaire for parents and stakeholders to complete should you wish to respond in this way. This can be completed online or in writing and returned to the local authority nursery your child attends, your local children’s centre or in a freepost envelope.

How will we provide support for parents to find alternative, suitable childcare and early years provision, should this be required?

The Starting Life Well Service will support all individuals requiring support to find alternative, suitable childcare and early years provision, should that be required.

We have a quick childcare search facility that parents/carers can access.

We have also identified two officers in the Starting Life Well Service, Karen Carney and Sue Wallworth, email: SLW@salford.gov.uk, tel no: 0161 778 0384 who will ensure that each parent is supported in finding alternative, suitable childcare through this process.

What is the childcare sufficiency?

A recent childcare sufficiency audit has demonstrated that there are enough places for all two, three and four year olds across the city in other sectors.

In Salford, there are 4,234 early education and childcare places for 0 to five year olds in the voluntary, private and independent sector. We also have an extra 2,639 places for three and four year olds in school nurseries. 85% of these daycare settings are rated ‘good’ or above by Ofsted. The Starting Life Well Service offers support; advice and guidance to all early years settings across the whole city to provide quality care and early education provision for children aged 0 to five.

What is the breakdown of finances for the individual local authority day nurseries?

The local authority day nurseries cost Salford City Council over £3 million per year to run. The council only receives around £1.5 million in income (fees). This means the council has been subsidising the local authority day nurseries by almost £1.5 million (or £4,500 per place, per year).

Financial information on individual nurseries can be found below in the downloadable documents.

Would an increase in local authority day nursery fees offer a solution?

The local authority day nurseries cost Salford City Council over £3 million per year to run. The council only receives around £1.5 million in income (fees). This means the council has been subsidising the nurseries by almost £1.5 million (or £4,500 per place, per year). Increasing fees to £185 per week for a full time equivalent place and asking families to pay more would only provide approximately an extra £50,000 a year.

How would I explore the potential running of the local authority day nurseries?

A decision has not yet been taken as to the future of the local authority day nurseries. Consultation will begin on Monday 26 March to midnight on Monday 25 June 2018.

Following the close of consultation a decision will be made about the future of the nurseries. As part of the decision making process we shall consider any proposals from parties who are interested in running one or more of the nurseries. 

If you are interested in finding out more information about the possibility of running a day nursery in place of the local authority please register your interest by replying to this email nursery.enquiry@salford.gov.uk with your full name, contact details and any other information that you consider to be of use or relevance. We shall then be in touch to inform you about the next steps. 

How will you ensure that all children are still supported to be school ready?

The Dedicated Schools Grant Early Years Block funds a wide range of city wide service provision. We will continue to deliver those services and the table below (see the ‘What has changed with three and four Year old funding?’ section) shows the range of services that will continue that support all children aged 0 to five and their families across the city. These include:

  • Early Years delivery
  • Starting Life Well Staff
  • Area Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs)
  • Early Support Key Workers and Portage Workers
  • Disability Equipment
  • Childcare Training
  • Speech and Language in Children's Centres

How does the funding work?

The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) is currently paid to us in three blocks and has oversight by Schools Forum.

Schools Block – Schools funding

High Needs Block – Provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Early Years Block – This is made up of funding for:

  • 15 hours universal entitlement for three and four year olds
  • 15 hours working parents entitlement for three and four year olds
  • 15 hours entitlement for two year-olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Support for 0 to five year olds; e.g. speech and language support, parenting support, children’s centres
  • The disability access fund
  • Early years Pupil Premium funding
  • The local authority day nurseries are funded by the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) Early Years Block.

What has changed with three and four year old funding?

NB All early years providers, including the local authority day nurseries, receive three and four year old free entitlement funding.

The government has now changed the way early years funding is calculated for three and four year old children. Appendix 1 provides further information on the funding rates. The change limits the amount of three and four year old funding the council can retain to pay for the delivery of local authority early years services.

The government stated in the consultation that the early years providers that deliver free places for three and four years olds needed a ‘sustainable, fair and transparent source of funding and that the current early years funding system was, however, based on historic expenditure, leading to significant variations in funding for local authorities which did not correlate well with either provider costs nor market prices’ and that this was ‘neither fair nor justifiable’.

They stated that there were ‘also inconsistencies with the way in which local authorities distribute their government allocations to providers, both in the proportion of government funding which was paid out, and in the differing hourly rates paid to different types of provider. These problems meant that the funding received by providers delivering the same entitlement varied considerably.’

The new Early Years National Funding Formula was introduced in April 2017 which allocated funding to local authorities for three and four year olds free provision. A key change introduced was that the local authority must plan to spend at least 95% of their three and four year old funding from government on the delivery of the government entitlements for three and four year olds. The Government have stated that they will monitor compliance.

In 2016-17, the three and four year old free entitlement funding was £12.18 million. The allocation in 2017/18 is estimated to be £14.1 million. In 2016-17 the local authority retained £2.3 million to pay for delivery of our local authority early years services, but because of the change above, we now can only currently retain £705,000. A similar amount of funding is estimated to be retained in 2018/19.

Overall, the projected overspend in 18/19 is £1.75 million.

The table below shows all of the other services funded from the early years block for local authority support and provision.

Local authority day nurseries x 5

7,200 childcare places in the city

Local authority day nurseries are registered for 327 places.

 

Early Years delivery

 

Parenting interventions

Speech and language interventions

Childrens Centre delivery

0-25 Early Help workers

Supports school readiness

 

Starting Life Well Staff

Contributes to Starting Life Well Staff

Support, advice and guidance to Early Years Education and Childcare Providers across the city, including support with Ofsted improvement

Ensures sufficiency of early education and childcare for 30 hours and two, three and four year olds, quality provision, school readiness, safeguarding.

Area Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs)

Contributes to Starting Life Well Staff

Offers support, advice and guidance to Early Years Education and Childcare Providers to support children with SEND.

Support to Early Years settings across the city in early identification of children with early delay and SEND, and inclusive provision for identified children with SEND ensuring quality early years provision across our private, voluntary and independent settings for all children in the city.

Early Support Key Workers and Portage Workers

Contributes to Starting Life Well Staff that offer support advice and guidance to families of children with complex needs and disability.

Support for all children with complex need from birth across Salford

Disability Equipment

Provides equipment to Early Years providers across Salford to enable them to offer inclusive childcare places for children with disability.

Childcare Training

Provides training and support to all Early Years settings across Salford, ensures quality provision across the city and supports all settings to achieve or maintain Good or better Ofsted grades so that every child in Salford has access quality childcare settings.

Speech and Language in Children's Centres

Delivers the GM Early Years Speech, Language and Communication Pathway, supporting early identification of speech, language and communication need, interventions and support across Salford

Appendix 1

In 2015 the Early Years Single Funding Formula in Salford for three and four year old funding was allocated in the following way:

Type of setting

Amount per pupil per hour -

Base rate

Maintained nursery class

£3.55

Day nursery/independent schools

£3.38

Pre-school/playgroup

£3.38

Childminder

£3.15

Children’s centres and schools

£3.38

 

Supplements

Quality

Deprivation

Calculated using the average IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index) score for all children attending each setting

Quality

   

Amount per pupil per hour

   

0% - 20%

£0.00

OFSTED grade good or outstanding

 

20% - 25%

£0.00

OR

£0.10

25% - 30%

£0.10

 

Commitment to complete

 

30% - 40%

£0.12

Quality Improvement Programme

 

40% - 50%

£0.16

   

50% - 60%

£0.19

   

60% - 100%

£0.22

The following Early Years National Funding Formula for three and four year old funding in Salford came into effect from April 2017.

Type of setting

Base rate

Maintained nursery class

£3.63

Day nursery/independent schools

£3.63

Pre-school/playgroup

£3.63

Childminder

£3.63

Children’s centres and schools

£3.63

In addition to the hourly rate, there is an adjustment made to take into account the quality and the deprivation experienced by children that attend a provision. This aspect of the formula is calculated based on the postcode of where the child lives as at the January census.

Supplements

QUALITY: Graduate Leader

£0.25

Deprivation: Calculated using the average IDACI

score for all children attending each

setting

Amount per pupil per hour (2017/18)

Band

1

0% - 25%

£0.00

 

2

25% - 30%

£0.10

 

3

30% - 40%

£0.12

 

4

40% - 50%

£0.16

 

5

50% - 60%

£0.19

 

6

60% - 100%

£0.22

Why have Salford not applied to government for funding flexibility?

Using the criteria set by the Department for Education, Salford wasn’t eligible to apply for the funding flexibility.

A key criteria is for Salford to provide evidence that early year’s providers would be willing to deliver enough places to support the additional 15 hours for working parents. Following consultation with all Early Years providers in December 2016 and January 2017, clear feedback was received from providers that they would not be able to provide the additional 15 hours for working parents if the funding rate wasn’t high enough. This consultation feedback was discussed at Schools Forum on 25 January 2017.

Why can’t Salford access additional funding for maintained nursery schools?

Salford does not have any Maintained Nursery Schools. The additional funding is only available for nursery schools. Local authority day nurseries are different and aren’t eligible for this funding.

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