Theresa Villiers has thanked Barnet Council for finding £100,000 to help fund maintained nursery schools in the area.

The Barnet Early Years Alliance, which includes Brookhill, Hampden Way and St Margaret’s nurseries in Mrs Villiers' Chipping Barnet constituency, is to receive £75,000.

Moss Hall in nearby North Finchley is in line for a £25,000 cash injection from the authority.

Ms Villiers says she has been campaigning for a long-term national funding settlement for maintained nurseries.

She said: "I would like to thank Barnet Council and its lead member for education, Cllr David Longstaff, for recognising the great work these nurseries do for vulnerable and SEND children.

"This funding boost was urgently needed and it is a real lifeline for these schools.

"Although these funds are very welcome, they will not solve the nurseries' financial problems.

"I am campaigning for Barnet maintained nursery schools to be included in the supplementary funding the Government has provided in other areas.

"Some real progress has been made and ministers acknowledge that a fairer approach to distributing this funding is needed. But we're still waiting for a consultation on how reform will be taken forward."

Ms Villiers says she will continue discussions with children's minister Vicky Ford to make the case that long-term funding is vital for these nurseries, not just in Barnet, but across the country.

The Chipping Barnet MP is the vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Nursery Schools, Nursery & Reception Classes, which lobbied the Government to save maintained nursery schools, which have been under threat since changes to the Early Years funding formula in 2016.