The Government has announced additional funding to provide free early years education to two-year olds across England, bringing the number of families eligible in Calderdale up to a total of 1,400 for 2014 up from from 524 in 2013.
Across the UK that’s 130,000 two-year olds from the poorest homes will be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare a week with a nursery or childminder.
The Government is investing more than £500 million into childcare this year and £100 million through local authorities to create new places to ensure those children eligible right now can benefit from these places.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“From today, if you’re a parent on a low income with a two year old in the family your child will qualify for 15 hours a week of free early years’ education.
“These funded places are focused on helping the families that need them most.”
Next year the Government will be investing £760m to help an additional 130,000 two-year-olds in families on less than £16,190 a year who receive working tax credits.
Commenting Cllr Pauline Nash said:
“This is a welcome announcement for families in Calderdale as early education helps promote a child’s physical, emotional and social development. This extra funding is one example of how we are trying to build a fairer society in which everyone has a chance to get on in life.
A new £2m scheme has been launched by the Coalition Government to help boost childcare businesses and help women back into work.
People who want to set up a nursery can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover things like legal and insurance costs, training, equipment and adaptations to buildings. The scheme is aimed to launch up to 6,000 new childcare businesses across England.
We hope people in Calderdale will take up this offer so that a significant number of new nurseries will spring up here, boosting options for parents.
This funding boost comes on top of other recent good news for parents. Last month it was announced that 524 of the poorest two-year-olds in Calderdale stand to benefit from 15 hours free childcare a week from this September. This was championed by Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government to ensure those toddlers have a good start in life and education.
Commenting, Cllr Ashley Evans said:
“Liberal Democrats want to create a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Childcare plays a vital role in achieving those goals. It helps the early development of children and removes barriers for those parents keen to return to work.
“We have seen time and time again the important difference that good quality childcare can make in giving children the best possible start in life.
“This money will help entrepreneurs set up and run new childcare facilities which along with over £1.4 million extra to help fund child care for two year olds will be a boost to Calderdale’s economy and a massive help to families here.”