MPs and councillors are lobbying the Government to provide extra funding for a group of ‘outstanding’ nursery schools.

Barnet Early Years Alliance, a federation of three schools and a children’s centre, faces an £80,000 budget deficit by the end of March and requires long-term funding of £300,000 a year.

The schools that form part of the group – Brookhill, Hampden Way and St Margaret’s – are rated outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted.

But over the last five years they have been managing their budgets without supplementary cash from central Government following a shake-up of early years’ education funding.

Cllr Pauline Coakley Webb (Labour, Coppetts) raised the funding issues in a member’s item at a meeting of the children, education and safeguarding committee on Monday. The funding shortfall was laid out in papers submitted by Barnet Early Years Alliance.

Cllr Coakley Webb said: “Our maintained nursery schools are an absolutely excellent setting – not only for the children, (but) for the staff and all the different agencies that are used via the nurseries.

“I don’t think there’s any disagreement among any of us as to wanting to see these maintained nurseries succeed and not to be always burdened with never knowing one year to the next how they are going to be able to fund themselves.”

Committee chairman Cllr David Longstaff (Conservative, High Barnet) said he wrote to ministers several weeks ago regarding “the fact that we have outstanding nurseries that are not getting the supplementary funding that other nurseries get”.

Cllr Longstaff added that the council was still waiting for full details on the funding for the nurseries. “We’re confident that something is coming through, and it really is a question of wait and see what that funding will be,” he added.

Cllr Coakley Webb called on the council to help fund the nurseries if the Government does not offer further financial support. Councillors will discuss the matter at a committee meeting in January.

MP for Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers and MP for Finchley and Golders Green Mike Freer have also been pushing the Government for help for the borough’s maintained nursery schools.

In a response to an urgent written parliamentary question tabled by Ms Villiers, Early Years Minister Vicky Ford revealed last week that an award of £60 million for the maintained sector was included the spending review.

In her reply, Ms Ford said: “This Government remains committed to the long-term funding of maintained nursey schools, and any reform to the way they are funded will be accompanied by appropriate funding protections.

“The department continues to consider what is required to ensure a clear, long-term picture of funding for all maintained nursery schools, including those in Barnet. We will say more about this soon.”

Ms Villiers described the response as “encouraging” but vowed to keep up the pressure on the Department for Education for a long-term settlement for the schools.