Peterborough City Council faces “sufficiency shortfall” due to extension of free early education places!

Members of the City Councils Creating Opportunities and Tackling Inequalities Scrutiny Committee were recently informed:

“From 2014, the government is proposing to extend free entitlement (15 hours) to 2 year olds. This support will be targeted at 40% of the children nationally with eligibility criteria focused on economic disadvantaged and those with SEN. In Peterborough this is expected to apply to 50% of children. This increased entitlement will place pressure on the Local Authorities to ensure sufficiency of placement. £100m has been made available nationally to support expanding provision. As information on future funding emerges, plans for dealing with the sufficiency shortfall will be developed alongside the PVI settings.” Source Page 12 5.17

Commenting, local LIB DEM councillor, Darren Fower said:

“Unless I’m missing a trick the Tories seem to be saying that they are going to be wholeheartedly reliant upon the Private, Voluntary and Independent providers (PVI)! Maybe that’s why I’ve started seeing so many new nursery’s popping up in the city at rates that make you think I wish these guys were involved with other areas of regeneration in the city!

“In my opinion its one thing to look at using the private sector and another thing to be outwardly reliant upon it to provide services that the local authority are legally charged with doing. What assurances will local parents receive that their children will be safe, what tests will be done, can we be sure that sufficient assessments will occur? Our city can ill afford another travesty in regards Children’s Services in the city!”

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