Cuts Watch #268: Cuts in children’s education services continue
Reports of cuts to capital funding are emerging from all over the country as local authorities were told by the Department for Education in July to put on hold any funding not already ‘fully committed’.
For example, Nursery World reports that a community nursery in the London Borough of Hackney that was due to receive £330,000 from the Early Years Capital Grant has become one of the latest victims of Government cuts.
The Nursery in Stoke Newington, a not-for-profit setting run by a committee of volunteers, was awarded the funding to pay for a refurbishment and renovation of its building and has already spent £40,000 on preparatory work. The renovation would have included building a raised playdeck over its back yard, which would have provided more outdoor space for the 45 children who attend the nursery and pre-school. Anne-Marie Lawrence, manager of the Community Nursery, said, ‘We are based in an area where parents really need our help. That is why we are full.’
In addition to capital funding, wider local authority cuts are also affecting children’s services. Children and Young People Now report that funding for education services in Reading is being cut by £1.5m this year. The Council’s Cabinet agreed the cuts this week, which include taking £280,000 from the schools improvement service, £429,000 from the youth service for projects for young people, and £350,000 from children’s centres. An extra £345,000 will also be cut from the Give it a Go fund, which was earmarked to pay for outings for children whose families can’t afford school trips. In addition, the local Connexions service will lose £75,000.