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News - 14 November 2011

Free Nursery School places.

Plans to give 15 hours of free "early education" a week to all two-year-olds from poor homes were announced last year but details have now been set out. As many as 140,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds could have free nursery places under a scheme, first started under Labour, that is due to be extended nationwide from September 2013.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said all children needed the best start.
All three and four-year-olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of early education for 38 weeks a year. This can be in nursery schools and classes, children's centres, day care nurseries, play groups, pre-schools and with accredited child minders.

Under the new plan, which is out for consultation, parents will be able to use their allocated time flexibly, between 07:00 and 19:00. For example, this could be in two seven-hour slots per week which would help with the parents “work-life balance.”

Mr 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.

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