Free childcare for 92,000 two-year-olds
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Around 92,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds are now receiving up to 15 hours a week of free childcare, just weeks after free pre-school education was introduced.
Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg welcomed today's figures which show that after one month of the launch of the scheme, around 70% of the identified 130,000 children are already benefitting from free childcare. This is up from 20,000 children accessing free early education in 2010.
Evidence shows that two-year-olds who have access to good and outstanding nurseries and childminders benefit in terms of their early language skills, and physical, social and emotional development.
Liberal Democrats in Government want to see more eligible two-year-olds in high quality early education.
The Government has committed to providing funding for 130,000 two-year-olds to access free places from September this year - increasing to 260,000 from next September. This offer is backed up by more than half a billion pounds of Government funding this year, rising to £760m in 2014-15.
Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
"A child's future can too often be decided even before they hang their coat on a peg on the first day of primary school. Early access to high quality childcare is vitally important to ensure children are ready for school, ready for the world and able to get a good start in life.
"Giving disadvantaged children early support gives them the best possible chance to succeed, it means they're less likely to fall behind their wealthier classmates and it can make a huge impact on their future. It is vital for a fair and prosperous society. This funding has meant that after just one month, 92,000 eligible two year olds are already benefitting from support and learning that can help shape their future."