Almost all of the 280 nurseries and maternal nurses owed to the Northamptonshire County Council have now been paid.

The authority says that there are only a dozen new service providers in the county who still have money and that they will be paid from here the end of the month.

The news was announced at a cabinet meeting yesterday (May 15) during which the ruling conservative group decided to follow up on most of the recommendations that had been presented to it by the oversight committee which reviewed in March the payment fiasco.

In the past 18 months, the authority, which is in the midst of a financial crisis, has paid many of its early childhood providers late and / or wrongly. The problems started after the introduction of a new computer system and the introduction of a new monthly payment system.

The authority had up to £ 98,000 to the authority. Nativity nurseries and babysitters reported that the problem was that they reluctantly passed on additional costs to parents and avoided taking children under the age of five with funded childcare.

Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said, "I agree that mistakes have been made in the past. We have completed a full audit of payment systems and we know where the mistakes are occurring and we are working hard to make our system as secure as possible in the future. "

Matt Golby, chairman of the board, said the board took the issue "very seriously."

He said, "We have to be better. It's not enough to agree to let things unfold as before. "

The recommendations of the Oversight Committee were to consider returning to term payments; pay unpaid debts as soon as possible; understand the issues and put in place ways for early childhood service providers to quickly contact the authority; see why other authorities can use the same system successfully and consider going back to the old software system.

The firm approved all the recommendations, with the exception of the return to payments due and the return to the old software, because it is currently consulting the sector to find out if it wishes.

Sharon Muldoon, Assistant Director of Children's Services, said she had committed to make no changes without first consulting with providers.

Julie Norris, Head of Early Childhood, said at the meeting that members of the Facebook group, used for 18 months by childminders and daycare to stay in touch, were unanimously in favor of maintaining the current monthly payment system.