Don Foster MP

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Free early years education for two-year olds in B&NES

November 11, 2023 by admin in Don in Bath, News

Free early education will be extended to 140,000 disadvantaged two-year- olds, and parents will be able to access the free entitlement more flexibly, under plans published by the Government today.

In B&NES around 200 two-year olds are expected to benefit from the proposals.

Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather, announced a consultation today on how this commitment will be implemented. The plans include proposals to help parents and children alike by making the free entitlement of 15 hours per week of early education more flexible, so it can be taken between 7am and 7pm across two days instead of the current three days.

Commenting, Don Foster, MP for Bath said:

“Helping 200 two-year-old children from the poorest backgrounds in Bath and North East Somerset will benefit them for years to come.

“High quality early education is the key to making a difference early on in a child’s life and help make Britain a fairer and more equal society.

“Improving social mobility is a Liberal Democrat priority in Government and early years education is crucial to achieve this.

“Targeting early education at those who stand to benefit most, is an important to achieve this goal. It will be an integral part to disadvantaged children’s healthy development.”

B&NES Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Nathan Hartley, who is also the Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Youth, added:

“In addition to the Pupil Premium, in B&NES we welcome this further funding for early years development.

“A key aim of this Liberal Democrat administration is to ensure that children from all backgrounds are given the best possible start in life. These proposals will means our youngest are not falling behind before they have even started primary school.”

Commenting on the proposal, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg said:

“I want us to give every child the best possible start - so free education for toddlers from the most disadvantaged homes will now be a right and not a privilege.

“Crucially the extra care will be flexible and easy to access. Parents across the country are bending over backwards to balance work and home. The Coalition wants to help in whatever way we can.”