Don Foster MP


Extra early years education funding for Bath’s poorest two-year-olds

Don Foster, MP for Bath, has welcomed the announcement that will see Bath and North East Somerset get £999,794 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 248 two-year-olds in B&NES 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 B&NES that means an extra £201,874. 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, Don Foster MP said:

“It is unfair that today, you can still predict how well children will do in school based on where they are 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 my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I 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 Bath and the surrounding 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.”

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