The Liberal Democrats have today announced they would triple funding for disadvantaged children aged three and four attending nurseries and other childcare providers.
The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) – introduced by Liberal Democrats in Government in 2015 – gives childcare providers up to £302 extra a year for all disadvantaged children aged three and four that they look after. Around 99,000 children a year benefit from the extra funding.
Since May 2015, the Conservatives have frozen the EYPP in cash terms. Liberal Democrats would triple the EYPP to £1,000 per child, costing £65 million to £70 million in 2024/25.
In addition, Liberal Democrats will support families on low incomes by:
- Investing £1 billion a year in children’s centres.
- Improving the quality of staff in early years settings, by requiring all providers to have a staff training programme with the majority of staff working with children to have a relevant early years qualification or be working towards one.
- Providing 35 hours’ free childcare from the day parents go back to work to the day their child starts school.
Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, said:
“The achievement gap between richer and poorer children can best be closed in the early years. But under the Conservatives, it’s widening. We cannot allow disadvantaged children to be left behind before they have even started school.
“Liberal Democrats will transform the lives of families with a massive expansion of free, high-quality childcare. At the same time, we’ll give nurseries more money dedicated to supporting children from the poorest families and children in care.
“By investing in the early years, we can give every child a great start in life.”