Early years pre-school funding to help disadvantaged children released

Early years pre-school funding to help disadvantaged children released

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced the release of an early years pupils premium totalling £50 million with an aim to support three-to-four year old, pre-school children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Schools, nurseries and childminders will be able to receive £300 for every three-to-four year old children coming from low-income families to support their childcare and education requirements pre-school.

The government says schools that receive early years premium for eligible pupils will be held accountable for how they spend their funding allowance. Ofsted inspectors shall report on how a school’s use of funding “affects the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils” and further funding awards will be allocated to schools that are successfully progressing and improving disadvantaged pupils.

Nurseries may spend the funding they receive on extra qualified staff, improving staff education or employing specialists in activities such as speech and language therapy. Nurseries are encourage to use the funding in ways that support three to four years olds in their care to learn and develop pre-school.

The DfE has requested the children’s charity 4Children to launch a “call for evidence” on the early years pupil premium in November 2014, asking providers to “identify and share good practice around meeting the needs of disadvantaged children”.

Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg said: “I’m proud that we’ve been able to deliver this early years pupil premium so that toddlers from the poorest families get the support they need, which will pay dividends later in life.”

The early years premium intends to build on the pupil premium which introduced a £625 million fund in 2011 to help raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils from reception to year 11.

Childcare and education minister, Sam Gyimah said: “We know the first few years of a child’s life can be make or break in terms of how well they go on to do at school and beyond. We want to see this money being put to the best use to ensure that all children, whatever their background, are getting the best start in life.”