A planned increase in nursery education funding - equivalent to up to £627 per child - is bring brought forward and care providers are being given a one-off cash boost in a bid to stop care providers passing on their rising costs to parents.
The government's increase of 8% to the Nursery Education Fund (NEF) - which provides up to 30 hours' early years education per week during term-time to three- and four-year-olds - was due to apply from the autumn term, but will now be applied from summer instead.
Children's Minister Deputy Louise Doublet announced the increase - amounting to £228,000 in funding - this afternoon, in addition to a one-off £82,000 funding boost in May for all NEF-registered nurseries will receive an extra one-off payment in May, totalling £82,000.
This one-off funding will be allocated based on how many children attend. The smallest nursery care providers will receive £1,500, and the largest will receive £6,000.
Belinda Lewis, who represents the Jersey Early Years Association, welcomed the decision to accelerate the annual NEF increase.
"Bringing this subsidy forward acknowledges the rise in costs providers are experiencing," she said.
"The one-off payment will help the members of JEYA maintain the standard of childcare they are proud to offer children and their parents. It will also help support children to continue to develop their skills through valuable experiences in the care of registered nurseries and pre-schools."
Pictured: Assistant Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Louise Doublet.
Deputy Doublet said: "I am still working with officers and with JEYA to review the early years sector. However, I am very aware that parents and providers are telling us that they need action now.
"That is why I have brought forward this year's NEF increase, and why I sought and have provided additional funding to invest in children's experiences in their nursery settings. The measures will help offset the increased costs for providers, and avoid this cost being passed on to parents.
"These measures are a sign of how important this sector is, not just to families, but to the economy as whole. Parents rely on having access to early years provision so that they can continue to work; meanwhile, children who receive high-quality care and early education will see the benefits throughout their lives.
"I would like to thank JEYA representatives, who have worked closely with me over the last six months to agree these measures."
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