The NEU is calling on the education secretary for increased nursery school funding
As reported by the Eastern Daily Press, the National Education Union is calling on Damian Hinds to increase funding for authority-maintained nurseries.
There are 392 nursery schools across England which provide early years education to around 40,000 children.
According to the NEU, under-funding is causing them to close down and more could follow if funding isn’t given a long-term boost.
Money has been allocated by central government to fill some gaps, but this is only set to last until next year.
In 2020, nursery schools may lose a third of their budget, the NEU says.
Kiri Tunks, NEU joint president, commented: “Maintained nurseries help some of the neediest, most vulnerable children and their service is second to none.
“The idea that we cannot find the money to fund them is a disgrace.
“I have been with upset, angry and despairing teachers who love their job but cannot see how they are going to survive long-term.”
The Department for Education said that it is planning to spend around £3.5bn on early education entitlements in 2019.
It also said it had provided an extra £24m of supplementary funding to local authorities for their nursery schools for the 2019/20 academic year.
A spokesperson added: “We know that maintained nursery schools play a valuable role in supporting some of the most disadvantaged children across the country, and that there was some uncertainty about funding for the next academic year.”