Leading Lib Dem figures in Bath and North East Somerset have welcomed the news that nurseries, childminders and other early years providers in the areas are set for a £109,157 cash injection to help three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.
But from April 2015, the Early Years Pupil Premium – which has been backed by groups like Barnados, 4Children and the Child Poverty Action Group – will mean extra money to make sure every child gets a fair start.
Bath MP, Don Foster said: “By investing over £100,000, in Bath and North East Somerset, to help the most disadvantaged three and four-year-olds, Liberal Democrats are continuing to ensure that children in our area are getting the best possible start in life.”
Nurseries and schools will be free to choose how to spend the money, which is part of a £50m Government pot.
Steve Bradley, Lib Dem PPC for Bath, commented: “The earliest years are the most important in a child’s life. Parents know how quickly children change and grow in their first few years, and how formative that experience is. Every child deserves the best possible chance we can give them.”
This builds on the announcement last autumn that pupils at over twenty schools in Bath will benefit from close to an extra £1 million on top of the school budget thanks to the Liberal Democrat Pupil Premium.
Commenting further, Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem PPC for North East Somerset: “This is a big step forward and will be very welcome in communities like Radstock, Paulton and Keynsham. As a teacher and parent myself, I know how crucial the early years in a child’s development are.
“Children who fall behind at this stage find it almost impossible to catch up later. This is why the extra money particularly targeted at children from less well-off families is so important and I am delighted that Lib Dems in government are properly committed to all our children’s future.”
It comes on top of Lib Dem-led changes in Government to help families, which include shared parental leave, tax free childcare, Free School Meals, and a pupil premium for school age children
Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Youth at Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “The Lib Dem commitment to children and families through free schools meals, free child care, massive investment in B&NES schools including new kitchens and classrooms will see children given the chance they deserve.”
A record fall in unemployment shows Britain is the “job creation capital” of the developed world, Danny Alexander said.
In the year to August unemployment dropped 538,000 – the largest annual fall on record. The drop took the unemployment rate in Britain to 6%, its lowest level since late 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in September also fell, by 18,600 to 951,900. The drop marked the 23rd consecutive monthly reduction.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “Our jobs rich economic recovery means that Britain is fast becoming the job creation capital of the western economies.
“Because our recovery plan is working, so is the country and in record numbers.
“Every job created is a family made more secure and is another step towards the stronger economy and fairer society that Liberal Democrats are committed to build.”
Bath MP, Don Foster has welcomed the news that the number of unemployed claimants in Bath has continued to fall over the last year.
The number of unemployed claimants in the Bath constituency in September 2014 was 644. This represents a rate of 1.5% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The number of claimants is 491 lower than in September 2013 and 29 lower than in August 2014.
Commenting Don Foster said: “The strong labour market performance hasn’t happened by accident. The Liberal Democrats have taken steps to ensure our labour market is fair and flexible, delivering opportunities for everyone and preventing exploitation of the most vulnerable.”
On national level, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in the year to August unemployment dropped 538,000. This is the largest annual fall on record, taking the unemployment rate to 6%, its lowest level since 2008.
Commenting further, Steve Bradley, Lib Dem Parliamentary Campaigner for Bath: “The national and local figures are great news and highlight the great work being done by the Lib Dems both in Government and locally by the Lib Dem Council.”
Don added: “The employment growth that we are now witnessing is one of this Government’s key achievements.”