An additional £48,000 of early years funding is available to childcare providers to support low income families across the Isle and North Lincolnshire.
Almost 500 children in the region already benefit from the boost that is available to families in receipt of government benefits or those with a child that has left care through an adoption order, special guardianship or child arrangement order.
In April this year, the government introduced Early Years Pupil Premium as an additional sum of money to help childcare providers support the learning and development of three or four year olds from low income families.
Childcare providers must spend the money to extend the early learning and development of eligible children. When inspected by Ofsted, they will be asked to demonstrate how they have used the additional funding to show the difference it has made to children in their care.
Childcare providers may use the funding to support children with: personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development, or literacy.
They can spend money on new equipment, training for staff or other initiatives that support a child’s learning. Each childcare provider will use a different approach depending on the needs of a child.
For the childcare provider to receive the funding, parents must complete an agreement in their child’s setting (e.g. child minder, day nursery, pre-school, school nursery, academy nursery). This agreement will enable an eligibility check to be undertaken. The childcare setting will receive the additional funding to support the child’s learning and development.
Parents should ask their childcare provider if their child is eligible for the additional boost in funding.
In addition, all three and four year olds can have up to 15 hours free childcare a week. Children who are three years of age on or before August 31 are eligible for a place in September 2015. The Family Information Service can provide details about childcare providers in North Lincolnshire – call 01724 296296 for information.
Coun David Rose, cabinet member for Children’s Services at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The money will help narrow the gap in educational achievement of disadvantaged children.
“The early years of a child is important and the more we can support parents and carers with their child’s learning needs, the better chance they will have in life.
“The money is available to support more families on low incomes – and I am sure childcare providers will welcome the additional money that will help them give children the best start in life.”