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Early years funding rise welcomed

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich

Pre-school providers in Suffolk will be getting a rise in payments from £3,87 per hour per child to £4 from April.

Providers protested last year when the county announced that because of a cut in Government funding, would cut payment to £3.87 and drop extra payments for better qualified staff.

But this year, instead of keeping 6.3 per cent of the Government grant, to cover support services, it will only keep 3.8 per cent.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills said: “We recognise more needs to be done. I have tirelessly campaigned for fairer funding from Government, raising the matter with local MPs and the Minister of State for Children and families.”

Last year Cygnets Charity Pre-school at Great Whelnetham saw its payment drop from £4.24 to £3.87. Its manager Carolyn Stokes said: “I see it as a positive move. We were originally expecting another cut.”

She said they await details of how depravation funding will be distributed on top of the base fee.

She added: “I have been pleasantly surprised in that the council are trying hard to work with us since the furore of last year.”

The county’s Labour children’s service spokeswoman Helen Armitage said: “The council have done what they can but a radical review of early years funding by central government is still needed.”

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