Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk: Free childcare for two-year-olds fully subscribed just months after funding made available

10:15 13 January 2014

Free childcare places already taken

Free childcare places already taken

Free childcare for two-year-olds offered by Suffolk County Council is already fully subscribed just months after funding for it was made available.

Suffolk County Council received nearly £5 million in funding from the Department of Education in order to provide free early years education for two-year-old children from low-income families.

The funding was granted on the basis that there were 1,293 two-year-olds eligible for free childcare in Suffolk, according to estimates from the Department for Education.

However as of last month the county council had funded 1,346 places, up from 1,057 at the beginning of the term in September.

In November the Department for Education revealed that nation-wide only 70% of eligible children were benefitting from the scheme.

That equated to 92,000 of the 130,000 identified as eligible for up to 15 hours a week of free early years education.

The number of children eligible will double to 260,000 as of September this year. However the Department for Education has said that in the future funding will be on a “use it or lose it” basis.

“The number of participating children will determine the amount of funding they get,” it said.

“Where parents are not taking up these places, local authorities will get less money.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said it was expected that they would receive more funding when the eligibility is expanded in September.

The national budget for early years education funding is expected to increase from £500 to £760 million in 2014 and 2015.

The Department for Work and Pensions provides Suffolk County Council with the details of families in the area who are eligible for free childcare for two-year-olds, which the council then uses to contact those families who are not already accessing a place.

Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “Research shows that a third of children are starting school without basic language and communication skills. In poorer areas, this rises to more than a half.

“Good quality teacher-led early years education helps children develop the social skills and vocabulary they need for learning, and as Baroness Morgan has pointed out, school nurseries can offer these places as well as childminders and nurseries.”

2 comments

  • So 1,293 two-year-olds eligible, but the council have funded 1,346 places which was up from 1057 in September. That means that either the council didn't know about an extra 289 children - very worrying if true, or that is an indication of how many low income families have moved into Ipswich since September. I would suggest that is also worrying!

    Report this comment

    N M

    Monday, January 13, 2014

  • waspie's wife..this was all part of parenting when I had my children in the 70's. Might attend a playgroup to socialise with other children a few months before school. I despair of reading how the little ones aren't clean, can't recognise or write their name and don't have the vocabulary they should have. They need to mix with all ages and learn in everyday situationst. Learning manners in a restaurant, how to behave out in society. Not cooped up with other children in a classroom, often vying for attention. They will get plenty of that in school. They need to learn skills out and about and have more individual attention.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Monday, January 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Enjoy a family day out at the Suffolk Show

Looking for ways to entertain the family during the school holidays? Here we bring you a round up of what is on in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and elsewhere in Suffolk, and into north Essex.

Aldeburgh. Photo: Mike Page Aerial

A Suffolk seaside town has been named one of the most expensive in the country.

Suffolk County Councillor Gordon Jones speaking at the e-safety conference at Wherstead Park

Suffolk has overtaken the national average in a number of key education standards, or is catching up at 
a faster rate, a new report has revealed.

The region’s ambulance service is still desperately short of its target for responding to the most serious medical emergencies, it’s latest figures have shown.

Kelly Dorward with her book. Photo: Nick Butcher

This is unexpected. I’ve made the writer of an erotic novel blush. Just a little, writes Steven Russell/

A new scheme to help troubled families is paying off in Suffolk.  Picture posed by model  Pic by Lucy Taylor

Suffolk County Council’s new policy on dealing with troubled families has shown significant success – and is set to continue until 2020.

Director Helen Wheatley and members of the UCS choir at rehearsals.

Singing out for a very good cause in Ipswich

Classic car event on the seafront at Aldeburgh. Frank Cox next to a 1964 Hillman Super Minx.

More than 50 classic vehicles were on display along the Aldeburgh seafront today.

Former Blues and England skipper Terry Butcher opens Bawdsey village fete and dog show.

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher was on hand to open a village fete in Suffolk yesterday.

Jasmine Nicholls (left) and Klaudia Sokolowska

Two teenage girls from the Lowestoft area have been reported missing to the police.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24