This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Continue to support maintained nurseries

And we will continue to support maintained nurseries…

Our Verdict

“Maintained” nurseries are funded by government and run by a local authority. They have been called the “jewel in the crown” of the early years education sector because not only are they concentrated in disadvantaged areas, but they also provide high quality education. Of those inspected between September and December 2017, 64% were rated as Outstanding; the percentage rises to 91% if those rated Good are included. (Ofsted, 2017).

However, the number of maintained nurseries has been steadily declining over the years. There were around 600 in 1990; only 397 are left as of 2018. A lack of funding is most frequently cited as the reason for maintained nursery schools closing.

The recent National Funding Formula (NFF) involved cuts to maintained nursery school funding. The government has supplemented local authorities with £60 million a year until 2019-20 to steady funding levels for maintained nursery schools, but 64% of maintained nursery schools estimate that they will be in the red before that funding period finishes.

The government’s £60 million supplementary funding is evidence of “continued support”, and there has been no explicit proposal to end support for maintained nurseries. Despite this, we don’t feel this is sufficient to consider this policy as ‘done’ if we also consider that there is no planned support beyond 2020 (still within the government’s term of office), the poor financial health that many maintained nurseries are already reporting, and the pressure from an All Party Parliamentary Group to provide more support.

For now this is ‘in progress’, and we will continue monitoring changes to funding for maintained nurseries as they are announced. Watch this space!

Want to know more?

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!