Northamptonshire County Council is set to receive more than £200,000 of Government funding to help disadvantaged three and four-year-olds in the county.
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah MP will visit the Little Fishes Pre-School in Thorplands, Northampton, today (Thursday) to announce that Northamptonshire is one of seven local authority areas being chosen to implement the Early Years Pupil Premium.
The pilot project will mean the most disadvantaged children in the county, including those who are in looked after care or whose parents are on benefits, will receive up to £300 extra per year.
The money will be distributed to nurseries and other early years providers in the county, who will receive up to £300 extra per year for each disadvantaged child who meets the eligibility criteria.
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah said: “I’m delighted we are helping the most disadvantaged children from Northamptonshire get the best possible start in life.
“Good quality early education should not be denied to anyone. Children who get it go on to do better at school and earn higher wages, so the Early Years Pupil Premium will be a life changing injection of money.
“I would encourage any parent from Northamptonshire who meets the EYPP criteria to tell their child’s nursery or child minder they are eligible. The provider will then alert the local authority to access the funding.”
The Department for Education will ask for feedback from the council before the full £50 million early years premium is implemented throughout England in April.
Northamptonshire received a total of £201,655, based on the estimated number of eligible children.
Councillor Heather Smith, Northamptonshire County Council deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ve been chosen to take part in the early implementation of the Government’s Early Years Pupil Premium, which will provide additional funding to support disadvantaged 3 and four-year-olds.
“We will be working with early years education providers across the county to use this investment to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers, setting them on a path to a more successful future.”
Children will qualify if they are three or four-years-old, are receiving government funded early education and their parents receive benefits used to access eligibility for free school meals.
A survey published in 2014 found that disadvantaged three and four year olds are up to seven percentage points less likely to participate in early education.