Toddlers from low income Doncaster families are to benefit from a new £50m fund to prevent them falling behind before school.
The new Early Years Pupil Premium, worth over £300 per pupil, is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers, setting them on the path to a more successful future.
In Doncaster a total of £292,388 has been allocated which is set to benefit 1,149 youngsters.
According to research, children from low-income families are estimated to already be 19 months behind more advantaged peers when they start school. High quality early education can close this gap and improve results later on in life.
The Early Years Pupil Premium aims to help nurseries raise the quality of their provision and today’s consultation will look at how best to make it work.
Nurseries will have freedom to decide how to use the money 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.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Every child deserves the chance to fulfil their potential, and this extra funding is a boost to help our youngest children get on in life and succeed.
“Boys and girls from poorer families have often already fallen nineteen months behind their better off classmates by the time they hang up their coat on the first day of school. Increasing their chances of success has got to be a top priority.”
Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “Children from low income families are already behind their peers in language and communication by the age of five – this is not good enough.
“We expect nurseries will use this money to create more high quality nursery provision led by teachers.
Schools Minister David Laws added: “The Pupil Premium is about helping schools to help all pupils succeed – regardless of background. It will help to capture those children who need support at an early age – bringing them on a level playing field.”