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News - 2 September 2013

Free Childcare Scheme Set To Be Extended

From September 2nd 2013, a free childcare scheme for 130,000 toddlers will be launched and this will be extended to 260,000 young children from September next year. Which means that approximately 40% of working families will qualify for 15 hours of free early education each week from September next year.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Without this help, children suffer and the whole class suffers as teachers have to focus more of their efforts on children who are frustrated and left behind through no fault of their own. I believe that every British family, whatever its structure, background and circumstances should be able to get on in life."

Critics however are concerned that the budget will not rise to match the doubling of numbers benefiting from the scheme

Welcoming the announcement, the Pre-school Learning Alliance warned the Government plans would fail if they were not properly funded. Chief executive Neil Leitch said: "This is a tremendous initiative that will help to support young children who statistically run the risk of being marginalised throughout their entire life."

Anand Shukla, chief executive of the Family and Childcare Trust, voiced his fears that nursery closures could impede the delivery of free childcare. He said “We are concerned that loss of nursery provision in children's centres is impacting on local authorities' ability to find sufficient places for the offer."

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“The Government will spend £534m on the scheme this year which will rise to £760m in 2014. But new research by the Family and Childcare Trust, to be published later this month, indicates that a minimum of 108 nurseries across England have closed or were never commissioned as they were supposed to be.”

If you need any help and advice on Nursery Schools or Care Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

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