Roehampton Nursery Teachers Protest at Downing Street

Fleur Anderson joins staff demanding more funding for state-maintained nurseries

Fleur Anderson MP (left) with the protesting nursery workers Fleur Anderson MP (left) with the protesting nursery workers


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A group of teachers from Roehampton have travelled to Downing Street to protest what they claim is the inadequate funding for state-maintained nurseries.

The staff from Eastwood Nursery School delivered a letter demanding fair funding for maintained nursery schools straight to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of the budget next week. They were joined by Fleur Anderson MP for Putney and other MPs as well as union representatives.

Amongst other things, the submission asks for a reverse what it says is a 12% real terms cut to supplementary funding over the past five years and for funding based on a nationally consistent basis.

There are only 389 state-maintained nurseries left in the UK, and only 3 in Wandsworth. They are a unique resource, offering education and care to 40,000 children, including some of the country’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Funding to state-maintained nurseries is only given on a
year-by-year basis, leaving them in financial uncertainty, unable to plan for the future.

The lack of state-maintained nurseries has been linked to high childcare costs faced by parents across the country. The UK has one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world. 75% of children living in poverty are in working households, with childcare costs accounting for 56% of the cost of
raising a child for working couples. Shockingly, childcare costs are around 30% higher than average in inner London.

Earlier this year, 500 people in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields signed a petition for an independent review of childcare funding and affordability from the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed.

Fleur Anderson, MP for Putney, said, “First of all, I would like to thank our Early Years staff in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields for their remarkable commitment to educating children, both before the pandemic and during the pandemic where they are still facing so many changes and challenges.

“State-maintained nurseries are the jewel in the crown of our early years system and they cannot carry on being under funded as they are, facing so much uncertainty year to year.

“I joined teachers in protest just before the budget last year and have raised the issue of multi-year funding for maintained nurseries when I was on the Education Select Committee and in several debates. Nursery school leaders shouldn’t be having to take to the streets to demand fair treatment.”

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October 22, 2021

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