Free early education will be extended to 140,000 disadvantaged two-year- olds, and parents will be able to access the free entitlement more flexibly, under plans published by the Government on Friday 11th November 2011.
In Luton, around 700 two-year olds are expected to benefit from the proposals.
Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather, announced a consultation today on how this commitment will be implemented. The plans include proposals to help parents and children alike by making the free entitlement of 15 hours per week of early education more flexible, so it can be taken between 7am and 7pm across two days instead of the current three days.
Commenting, leader of Luton Liberal Democrats, Cllr. David Franks said:
“Helping 700 two-year-old Luton children from the poorest backgrounds in our area will benefit them for years to come. High quality early education is the key to making a difference early on in a child’s life and helping to make Britain a fairer and more equal society.
“Improving social mobility is a Liberal Democrat priority in Government and targeting early education at those who stand to benefit most is important to achieve this goal. It will be an integral part to disadvantaged children’s healthy development. This means they’re not falling behind before they have even started primary school.”
Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg said:
“I want us to give every child the best possible start – so free education for toddlers from the most disadvantaged homes will now be a right and not a privilege.
“Crucially the extra care will be flexible and easy to access. Parents across the country are bending over backwards to balance work and home. The Coalition wants to help in whatever way we can.”