10 Dec 2009
Children's Minister, Dawn Primarolo told MP's today that the introduction of the Early Years Single Funding Formula will be delayed until April 2011. Giving evidence to the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee she said, "I am minded to postpone, under certain circumstances and conditions, the implementation of the funding formula until April 2011.
The minister will notify the House of Commons of her decision formally through a written statement tomorrow.
While she said there was concensus that the idea of the formula was right in principle, she went onto say that only a third of local authorities were ready to implement it 'while two-thirds were still struggling.'
Dawn Primarolo said that the funding formula was announced as a way of bringing 'greater transparency and accountability to the system' but that '2007 was a different time economically' and local authorities have been busy on other issues.
She said that the local authorities that were ready could apply to join a pathfinder scheme where their experiences would be shared as good practice. She also acknowledged the challenges of implementing the formula alongside the extension of hours from 12.5 to 15 and mentioned that she had received feedback from providers, parents and local authorities about the impact of the formula on providers.