Youngsters benefit from funding scheme

Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg

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, was launched last week and is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low income families and their peers.

Around 18,800 children in Yorkshire & Humber will benefit from the measure, worth £5.4 million to the region. This includes 1205 kids in Doncaster.

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 added: “Ensuring parents have access to affordable, flexible and high quality early years provision is a key part of our plan for education.”

Nurseries will have the freedom to decide how to use the Premium to help three and four year-olds learn and develop.

This could include setting on 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.