Government’s free childcare scheme gets £100m investment

Local councils are to get a Government cash injection in order to provide free nursery places for 100,000 2-year-olds

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged £100m worth of investment into his early-years education scheme.

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In May of this year, the Government brought forward plans to increase access to free nursery places for 2-year-olds. The trial programme resulted in an extra 1,000 2-year-olds in 10 areas of the country getting access to 15 hours of free early education per week.  

Now the Government is using money accrued by “underspending in government” to provide a further 100,000 free nursery places for 2-year-olds, reports the BBC.

The money will target the poorest two-fifths of households by September 2014. While the government won’t tell the councils how to spend the money, it’s intended to go into capital spending, such as converting existing buildings into extra nursery space.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said, “What we are looking at doing is the equivalent of creating an extra 200 primary schools.”

Nick Clegg added, “Good quality early education gives children a head start before they even start school and helps the most hard-pressed families who are struggling with the cost of child care.”

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