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Extra money for poorest 2-year olds in Warwickshire

November 27, 2012 9:34 AM

The Coalition Government has today announced that Warwickshire will get £3,615,768 to deliver 15 hours a week free early years education for the poorest two-year olds by 2014.

The Coalition Government is already ensuring that the poorest 20% of two-year olds are able to receive early education from September 2013, which means 921 two-year-olds in Warwickshire will benefit. This will rise to include the poorest 40% by 2014.

At Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg announced an extra £100m this year, intended to go into capital spending, such as converting part of an existing building into extra nursery space.

In Warwickshire, that means an extra £686,312. The money will help prepare children for school and help the most hard-pressed families with childcare costs.

In total, local authorities will receive more than half a billion pounds to fund two-year-olds places next year.

Commenting, Cllr. Clive Rickards, Warwickshire Lib Dem Spokesperson - Children, Young People & Families said:

"It is unfair that today, you can still predict how well they will do in school based on where someone is born. Education is the best way we can help children overcome disadvantaged backgrounds.

"It is clear from the evidence that children from poorer backgrounds often fall behind their wealthier classmates before they even set foot in school. That gap only gets bigger over time.

"Liberal Democrats believe in a fair society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. That's why Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have prioritised supporting two-year olds so they can the best start in life.

"Today's news on how much money our area will get to make this ambition a reality is a welcome boost for hard-pressed families and will help to creating a fairer society."

Commenting further, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

"From 2013, 130,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds will be eligible for 15-hours of free childcare a week with double that number set to benefit the following year.

"Today we're letting local authorities know the money they will receive to offer these free places and make a huge difference to hard-pressed families.

"Good quality childcare gives children a headstart even before they walk through the school gates for the first time. No child should miss out on this just because of the circumstances of their birth."

Contact: Cllr. Clive Rickards - 07821 009363, cllrrickhards@warwickshire.gov.uk

Notes:

  1. The funding is being provided at a flat rate per child per hour (adjusted for the area's average costs). Local authorities will receive an average of £5.09 per child per hour, which they are expected to pass on in full to schools, nurseries and childminders. This is significantly above the market rate of £4.13 (Daycare Trust figures) which providers charge and will enable high quality staff to be retained, recruited and trained.
  1. Details of the funding breakdown for the two-year old early years education programme for lower income households in financial year 2013-14 are online at http://www.education.gov.uk/.
  1. The Coalition Government has called on local authorities to pass the funding on in full to providers to ensure that high quality staff are retained and recruited and so that excellent operators are encouraged to open in areas of scarce provision.
  1. A new tool from Ofsted will allow parents and providers to see how many good and outstanding places are currently available in their area and how many more places are needed to meet demand: www.ofsted.gov.uk.
  1. Parents will know whether the full allocations have been passed on to providers as local authorities will publish funding rates on their websites.
  1. There is strong evidence that early education makes a positive difference to young children. The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education study found that high quality early education has particularly strong impacts on the cognitive and social development of disadvantaged children, and that these benefits last throughout primary school. A second research report, Early Education Pilot for Two Year Old Children Evaluation, found that only higher quality settings made an impact on children's development in the pilot. This is online at https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DCSF-RR134.pdf. Its main conclusion is: The pilot had a positive impact on children who attended a setting of reasonably high quality, but not on children who attended settings of lower quality. The results suggest that in order to have a positive impact on child outcomes, when the programme is rolled out nationally only settings with an Ofsted score of at least 'good' should be used by local authorities to provide free places for disadvantaged two year olds.