Children’s Minister Vicky Ford has issued a strong rebuttal to these claims that the Government has backtracked over furlough funding.

Speaking at the Education Select Committee meeting on 22 April, she said, ‘There has never been a change in guidance. The treasury guidance makes it enormously clear [that organisations receiving public funding to pay staff shouldn’t also be able to use furlough for them]. That is what we added to our guidance as extra clarification. I wish I could have got that clarification out faster.’

She said that her priorities were sufficient childcare for keyworkers; making sure vulnerable children were safe; and ‘doing everything we can for the longer-term sustainability of the sector’.

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