Local MP Andrew Bingham has this week secured a visit from the Education Minister, Caroline Dinenage, to Hadfield Nursery School, following a question he raised in the House of Commons.
The hard-working MP extended the invite to the Minister following his own visit to the nursery last week. During Education questions, Andrew asked the Minister:
"Last week I visited Hadfield Nursery School in my constituency. That excellent and very well respected local nursery is a maintained nursery. It is concerned about the level of funding it will receive when the 30 hours provision comes in. Will she give us some reassurance on that, and would she like to visit Hadfield Nursery School, because it does a great job and everyone there would be delighted to see her?"
The Minister replied:
"I thank my hon. Friend for that very kind invitation. I would be more than happy to visit both him and the Hadfield Nursery School in his beautiful High Peak constituency. He is right to highlight the importance of maintained nursery schools. We have committed to providing local authorities with an additional £55 million per year for nursery schools until at least the end of this Parliament."
Commenting afterwards, Andrew said:
"I'm very pleased that the Minister accepted my invitation for her to visit Hadfield Nursery School. Following headlines in the local paper I went to see the school as a matter of urgency. I was pleased to be able to tell them that the Government have promised £55 million a year for the rest of this Parliament for maintained nursery schools, and this was confirmed by the Minister in the House last week. We've not got a date for her to visit yet, but I will be pushing for it to happen as soon as possible."
In answer to an earlier question from Andrew about the progress being made on the provision of 30 hours of free childcare to working parents, the Minister said:
"We are committed to ensuring that we have the high-quality affordable childcare that families need, and are on track to deliver 30 hours of childcare to working parents. We are investing record funding of £1 billion per year by 2020 and have announced a fairer early-years funding system. Eight early implementer areas are already providing nearly 4,000 places one year early."