Nursery school funding is something which I’ve been campaigning on for a number of years. And, after visiting Windsor Nursery School in my constituency earlier this month and witnessing the transformational work that they do, it is crucial that the Government act fast on this issue.
At the moment, the impact of the new funding formula has been tempered by transitional relief which is not guaranteed beyond 2019 / 2020. If this supplementary funding is not continued, it will be a disaster for these schools.
When it comes to the cycle of disadvantage and lack of opportunity, inequality sets in early. We already know there is a development gap which is variously measured at twelve or fifteen months between children from the lowest income backgrounds and those who are better off when it comes to starting school.
And we know if that development gap is not addressed early it can affect people for the rest of their lives, holding them back from learning what they might learn, cutting them off from opportunities and careers that they may have had and reinforcing the inequality and lack of social mobility which is so prevalent in our country. So, if we’re to address this, we have to start in the early years.
I’d like to thank Claire Foster and the wonderful staff at Windsor Nursery School for the transformational work that they are doing.