Decision details

Early Years Funding Formula 2017/18

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Item Called In

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Cabinet to decide on an early years national funding formula to be implemented from 1st April 2017 following changes in legislation by government announced in December 2016. The early years national funding formula funds all early years providers in Cumbria for the free 15 hour entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds (30 hours from September 2017). Cabinet to also decide on a proposed increase to the hourly funding rate for 2 year olds who are eligible for 15 hours free provision. A recommendation for both these decisions will be made to Cabinet by Schools Forum at its meeting on 19th January 2017.


The Chair of the Schools Forum presented a report which explained that in line with the School and Early Years Finance Regulations, Cabinet was the decision making body for the Cumbria Early Years Funding Formula and, following national changes to early years funding, is required to decide upon a formula for the 2017-18 financial year.  This formula applies to all primary maintained schools, maintained nursery schools, private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers and academies in Cumbria.  Schools Forum has made a recommendation to Cabinet for the 2017-18 funding formula. 


The Chair of the School’s Forum said that following consideration of the consultation outcomes at its meeting on 19th January 2017, the Schools Forum was recommending that the formula set out in paragraph 12 of this report be applied for the 2017-18 financial year.


In line with the School and Early Years Finance Regulations the Council is responsible for setting the early years funding formula for schools, PVI providers and academies within the county.  This formula funds providers for the free entitlement of 15 hours per week early years provision for 3 and 4 year olds.   The entitlement is increasing to 30 hours per week from September 2017.


The funding which was allocated through the formula came from the Early Years Block of the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant.  There were three blocks in total that made up the Dedicated Schools Grant – the Schools Block, High Needs Block, and Early Years Block. 


On 1st December 2016, Local Authorities were notified by the Department for Education to implement an early years national funding formula for the 2017/18 financial year and to start consulting with early years providers before the Christmas break if possible.


Under the new early years national funding formula, the hourly base rate must be the same for all providers.  In addition, supplements were restricted and could not comprise more than 10% of the funding allocated through the hourly base rate. Deprivation was a mandatory supplement and must be included. There were 4 permitted optional supplements:-


·        Rurality/ sparsity - to support providers serving rural areas who may be less likely to benefit from economies of scale.

·        Flexibility - to support providers in offering flexible provision for parents.

·        Quality - permitted to either support workforce qualifications, or   support system leadership

·        English as an additional language (EAL)


To ensure a simple and transparent formula, providers were consulted on a formula from April 2017 comprising of a base rate of £4.00 per hour with a supplement of £0.20 per hour for deprivation.  This would apply for all types of provider with the exception of maintained nursery schools (6 in Cumbria). 


The formula would apply to both the current 15 hour weekly entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds, and the additional 15 hours from September 2017.


Cabinet thanked the Chair of the Schools Forum for the report and recommendations and asked that thanks be recorded to the Forum for the work they had done to formulate the recommendations.


RESOLVED that Cabinet approve the recommendation of the Cumbria Schools Forum as follows:-


Funding Element

Private, Voluntary, Independent, Childminder, Childcare on Domestic Premise, Academy /School nursery classes

Nursery School

Hourly Base Rate



Hourly Supplement – Deprivation



Hourly Supplement – Children Looked After



Lump Sum – Nursery Schools



Business Rates – Nursery Schools



based on actual cost 



Report author: John Barrett

Publication date: 21/03/2017

Date of decision: 16/03/2017

Decided at meeting: 16/03/2017 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: