Venue: VIRTUAL MEETING
Contact: Nick Carter Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS OR OBSERVERS
Apologies were received for the absence of Kirsten Cooper (Elizabeth Page substituting) and Hayley Durrant.
The report presented to the Forum gave an update on the Early Years Funding for 2021-2022 including the results of the consultation with Early Years providers.
The Forum noted that the funding allocations received from the DfE in December, for the Early Years Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant, were indicative. Funding would be revised to reflect pupil hours reported on the January 2021 Census.
It was noted that the funding for Early Years had been increased by £44million nationwide. This took the form of a 6p an hour increase in the rate used to fund Local Authorities for 3-4 year olds and an 8p rise in the rate used for 2 year olds. It was also noted that Havering had received an upward adjustment to funding in July 2020 of £701k.
It was noted that in Havering pupil hours at the October 2020 census had been 5% lower than the previous year, as a result of the pandemic. Funding proposals for 2021-22 had been formulated assuming a similar fall in hours between the January 2020 Census and the January 2021 Census.
The Forum noted that, in the funding consultation, Early Years providers had supported the Local Authority proposal for an increase of 8p an hour for 2 year olds and for a contingency of 1% which equated to £19k.
The Forum noted that Early Years providers expressed a preference for funding Option A, a base rate increase for 3-4 year olds to £5.02 with no change to the SEN Inclusion Fund rate of £4.90. The Forum then noted that EY providers were in favour of keeping deprivation funding as the only supplementary factor and of IDACI funding rates remaining aligned to those for schools. Members noted that in the funding consultation Early Years providers had supported the LA proposal that the central support services budget remain at £820,000.
The Forum agreed the recommendations as set out in the report.
1. (i) The basic hourly rate for 2 year olds is increased from £5.68 to £5.76
(ii) A contingency of 1% is retained to meet the cost of any in-year increase in 2 year old hours not funded by the Government
2. (i) The basic hourly rate for 3 & 4 year olds is increased from £5.00 to £5.02.
(II) The Early Years Inclusion Fund funded from the Early Years Block remains at £300,000 and that the hourly rate for eligible children remains at £4.90.
3. That deprivation is retained as the only supplementary factor and that the rates of funding continue to be aligned with the rates that are used for schools in the National Funding Formula.
4. That the centrally retained budget remains unchanged at £820,000.
5. That in future, the use of any underspend in the Early Years Block is discussed with the Early Years Provider Reference Group before any proposals are brought to the Schools Funding Forum and before any decisions are made on its use.
The next meetings is to be held on 23rd March 2021 at 9.30am via Zoom.
The next meeting of the Forum would be held on Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 9.30 am via Zoom.