Free Early Education for 2 Year Olds

Lancashire County Council are supporting access to Free Early Education for 2 year olds who meet particular criteria.  The evidence is that good quality early education and childcare gives children a better start in life.  This offer will allow children to learn through play and make new friends in a caring and nurturing environment.

Click here for further information and to find resources for your organisation to use to help to promote messages and advise parents about accessing and using their free entitlements. Please help us to share this information widely.

Funded Early Education for Targeted 2 Year Olds

Around 1,700 of Lancashire's most vulnerable two-year-old children are now accessing early education places as part of the national roll-out of funded places for targeted groups of children.  This is 65% of the 2 year olds we think are eligible within Lancashire (2,600) and will rise further as we move into Spring Term.  We don't expect all families to take up this offer as some will make an informed choice not to take up a place.

We are trying to make sure that eligible families are aware of the offer, and know what the benefits of taking up the provision are for themselves and their children.  We are doing this through a combination of advertising, social media, direct mail shots to eligible families and face to face contact in children's centres.  Partner agencies can help by asking frontline staff to discuss free early education places with families who are not yet accessing a place.  

Funding (both capital and revenue) is being distributed on a targeted basis to support early years providers to expand the number of places they can offer.  We aim to do this with the least impact on other providers in their local areas. It is likely that we will have to do further work in some high priority areas and we will continue to work with the early years sector to achieve the best outcomes we can for local families.

in September 2014 nationally 40% of 2 year olds will be entitled to a place because the national criteria, which determines statutory eligibility, will be extended to include a wider range of families; predominantly those on low income.  . 

Detailed information is due from the Department of Work and Pensions to tell us where these children live, but it is envisaged that many of Lancashire's economically disadvantaged areas will see much higher rates of eligible children.

Further information is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/childcare or contact Phil Maltby on 07717 543 796.  This link provides information and resources on how your organisation can assist in promoting the offer.