Outline Early Years Forecast 2020/21 (Avril Allenby)
Lisa Potts introduced the report (Agenda Item 13) which updated the Schools’ Forum on the forecast position for the Early Years Block (EYB) for 2020/21.
Lisa Potts reported that additional payments had been made to providers for the autumn term to ensure they did not miss out on funding due to lower numbers as a result of Covid-19. Lisa Potts added that there had been a reduction in the number of hours being taken up by children in early years settings. There were still parents who were not working due to the pandemic and therefore there had been a reduction in the take up of the 15 free hours, particularly for the autumn term.
There was not yet any guidance from Government regarding how hours calculated through the January 2021 census would be funded. It was hoped that the guidance would be received by the end of December 2020 as this would be required to calculate the income stream for the year. Estimates currently had to be used.
The net forecast for the block had been anticipated to be around £1m however, this had increased slightly to about £1.2m and this was a cumulative deficit. The table under section 4.1 of the report showed this in more detail.
Brian Jenkins stressed the volatility of the sector, particularly with regards to numbers. This was an issue faced on an annual basis and it was an impossible task to set near to accurate predictions.
RESOLVED that the Schools’ Forum noted the report.