Low income families will benefit from up to £300 for every three and four-year-old child to help prevent them from falling behind before they have even started school.
The Government’s Early Years’ Pupil Premium, which totals £50 million, is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low income families and their peers, setting them on a path to a more successful future.
Around 18,800 children in Yorkshire & Humber will benefit from the measure, worth £5.4 million to the region. This includes 1205 in Doncaster, 915 in Rotherham and 1015 in Barnsley.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “It is vital that we intervene at the earliest possible stage and do all we can to help young children develop and learn
“I’m so 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.
“In my view, this will be one of the great legacies of this government, helping create a fairer society which benefits families up and down the country.”
Childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah said: added: “Ensuring parents have access to affordable, flexible and high quality early years provision is a key part of our plan for education.
“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.”
Nurseries will have the freedom to decide how to use the Premium to help three and four year-olds learn and develop, for example more qualified staff or specialists in activities like speech and language to give an extra focus on basic skills.
The Premium is part of the Government’s programme of reforms to help children get ready to begin school, especially those who are from low-income families.
This includes expanding 15 hours of free early education to 40 per cent of two-year-olds, expanding the role schools play in the early years and tougher inspection and accountability through a stronger Ofsted framework.