The early years pupil premium scheme has been kick-started in seven local authorities.
Blackpool, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Hackney and Stoke-on-Trent have each received a share in £1 million with the hope of helping the most disadvantaged children in their areas to receive high-quality early education.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This new funding from the early years pupil premium will allow schools and nurseries to give extra help to toddlers from the poorest families so they can develop and learn quickly and prevent them falling behind other children when they start school.”
Pre-School Learning Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch was less enthusiastic, saying: “Although we welcome additional financial support for early years providers, at just 53p per hour, the early years pupil premium is unlikely to have a tangible impact on the vast majority of childcare providers.
“The independent report into childcare sector funding commissioned by the Alliance last year found that the early years pupil premium will only make up 11% of the total current funding shortfall for three- and four-year-old provision within the PVI sector — so the problem of insufficient funding remains.”
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