As you know, we have been working throughout the week to try and get the government to change its position on nursery funding and the impact of Census Day tomorrow.
Following conversations overnight and this morning, we believe a change in position has been achieved.
While we have been waiting for official confirmation from the government, our understanding as it stands is that the DfE should later announce that where a child would normally be expected to attend early years provision but is not able to due to the impact of covid, the expected hours should be recorded in the census. This includes children who are absent due to their own personal circumstances or the operation of their early years setting, and includes children who have previously attended the provision and children who were expected to start attending the provision in January.
We have been led to believe this will include settings who have been forced to reduce numbers attending in line with their risk assessment.
For obvious reasons, it is highly unusual for us to share such information before it has been formally announced by the government, but given the timescales involved, we felt we had a duty to update members on the latest position.
I need to be clear that we still need to wait to see the final wording used by the DfE to be 100% sure of the position, but we are hopeful that the DfE will confirm this position imminently.
First published 21 January 2021