Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Coalition Government will inject £100m capital funding to support the delivery of new nursery and childminder places.

Two in five of the country’s two-year-olds will be eligible for 15 hours of free early years education per week by September 2014. This will help ensure that children are better prepared for school and will help parents on lower incomes with the costs of childcare.

An estimated 100,000 new places are required across the country. The capital funding will be made available to local authorities to help attract new entrants to the early education and childcare sector, particularly in areas where the childcare market is less developed. Funding could also be used to enable existing nurseries and childminders to expand to offer more places to two-year-olds.

Free early years education is key to the Deputy Prime Minister’s ambition to break the link between the circumstances of a child’s birth and their life chances.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg said:

“So much of a child’s future is determined before they hang up their coats on their first day at school. It is vital that we do all we can to make sure a child’s potential isn’t determined by the circumstances of their birth.


“That is why we will give thousands of two year olds access to free early years education over the coming years.


“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.


“The money we are announcing today will help nurseries and child minders get ready to deliver this revolution in early education.”

27 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Linda Gee on September 25, 2012
    I find it rather distressing that the government are apparently 'giving' all this extra money to settings via Local Authorities. In reality settings are being asked to provide subsidised places for 2 years olds as we already do for 3 and 4 year olds. It seems to be widely recognised that the grant rate does not cover the costs of providing places at the majority of settings yet we are being asked to provide yet more places. Where are we going to get the money from? For many it will be the straw that breaks the camels back - we will close - and governments targets for places will suffer.
    • Emma on September 25, 2012
      As a childminder we have been asked also. The contract is very one sided and really we do not benefit at all. The contract clearly states that it would be a term time only arrangement and any hours not used eg if the family do not attend will be owed or repaid. So, basically they want us to give up one of our valuable places and not get paid in full for it. My council are shocked at how many child minds in our area have not taken them up on this offer.
    • Pam on October 4, 2012
      I fully agree with Linda, as one of the settings not in area of deprevation and not rural enough we get the extra payments we find wee reveive the least of all of the settings in our area and yet offer a good with outstanding provision. If we only get the same funding for two year olds we will not survive.
  2. simona mckenzie on September 25, 2012
    Many LAs will receive this money and then allow only Accredited Network c/ms to deliver For those c/ms not in a Network again we will find ourselves excluded from this scheme when the govt is desperate for places. Part of the funding will also be used to attract new comers in the profession...this is utterly unacceptable as experienced and qualified c/ms will be needed for these very vulnerable children. Once again c/ms will be left trailing behind other providers. I do not wish to expand my practice as I have spaces now but blocked by LAs' red tape and unable to pass the free entitlement to for the pittance we get to deliver the EYFS I belive the govt should be raising the hourly funding as a priority....£3.50 in my area is derisory!
    • Marie Lewis on September 25, 2012
      It's time for Elizabeth Truss and others to realise that the supply side needs recognition and support, not just the demand side (parents). As Simona McKenzie says many childminders are regularly earning below the minimum wage for a typical week's work - often working really long hours in order to provide the flexibility that the govt says it wants providers to offer (and very little is said about the long hours that our youngest of children are expected to do - more than the adult working time directive - and against all research into a child's developmental needs which shows that there is no gain after the first few hours of care/education when babies and toddlers really should be picked up to spend the rest of the day with family .. ). The providers of care - whether it's childminders or nursery workers also have children to raise - and for this they also need their own family time and a decent wage.
  3. Karen on September 25, 2012
    I am about to register as a new childminder. How will this affect me? Grateful for any replies.
  4. san on September 25, 2012
    hi lm a new setting and l have no objection about goverment funding for the 2 year olds but what l think as a setting what we rent out is the problem because we charge different rates in evey nursery but what no one seems to understand what we have to face with our landlord and our bills and our staff we have to make sure the more children we have will help pay our rent get the best possibility for the parents at the same time but try and understand we as providers do want the best but then the government should help us to so we can look after the children buy resources etc to run oursetting its hard but want the best for all our families lm a parent too and understand but need to see us.
  5. Gill on September 25, 2012
    Our Local Authority pay £6.60, I think that this is quite good compared to others
    • Pat tippett on October 24, 2012
      Which authority r u pls ? Just for info..x
  6. JBB on September 25, 2012
    I have heard today that nurseries and pre-schools who complain to Kent County Council regarding the funding, are being allowed to have only one child on their register as doing their 15hrs all the others are allowed to do two and a half hours and charged extra for the further half hour. This may be profitable for them, but my parents are not able to pay any extra. How can we continue to exist for those who really need the places. Funding needs to be increased.
    • simona mckenzie on September 26, 2012
      Here we have the example of 'red tape' imposed by LAs and, in addition, Top-Up fees will not be allowed. Where is the DfE who so much wants to cut additional beaurocracy when we need it? The 3 hours are supposed to be free but I am in total agreement the funding is inadequate and we should 'campaign' against funding below the 'minimum' wage which the Free Entitlement is. The main reason why c/ms are not coming forward to deliver the FE is because we lose out and not able to make a decent living and support our families The parents of our cared for children earn above minimum wage...those who do not and are disadvantaged should be 'fully funded' by the govt.....this is a viciuos circle If the FE had been adequate from the start, I believe strongly, the cost of childcare would not have spiralled out of control as providers are increasing the fees outside the entitlement to recoup their losses....time to stand up for our rights !
  7. Lisa on September 25, 2012
    My husband is in the armed forces so we are one of the lucky ones entitled to some free hours for our 2 year old twins. It has been an amazing help to us...when we eventually found out about it. It was kept very quiet and we had to do a lot of ringing about to get the ball rolling.
    • simona mckenzie on September 26, 2012
      I am so pleased to her you benefitted from this support Lisa but why was it kept quiet? it is your entitlement..... who kept it quiet and why? seems crazy and gives me no hope this new found money will be equally shared but as / c/ms we need to speak up to be included despite the fact we feel it is us subsidising the govt ...we will soon know whether this money will be used as intended
      • Lisa on September 26, 2012
        We only heard by chance when another parent at the nursery did some research into who would be eligible. The nursery, health visitors or armed forces never mentioned it ( I don't actually think they knew) and as we are not entitled to any working tax credits anyway we didn't think to ring any government people to ask. My bet is there are lots of people out there who are entitled to something ...but are all to busy working to find out!!!
      • David on September 27, 2012
        Simon, you are misrepresenting the available 2 year old funding. Currently there is no 2 year old Free Entitlement - that only starts in Setember 2013. Even then it will not be universal, it will be limited to 20% of 2 year olds who meet specific requirements. Why should the funds be equally shared? In my LA the funds go to children who qualify for the funding. Parents can pick any qualifying childcare provider and the funds we be paid to that provider. A provider qualifies for funding if they meet the LA's quality standards (for childminders this includes being in the network) Fairness has nothing to do with it, its about the child and parents needs.
        • Kate on September 27, 2012
          It is being trialled for disadvantaged 2 yr olds in several LAs. It's becoming easier to get information for but we've been trying to access it for two years. We had a child who we were assured we'd get funding for, never did, carried it out of our own fund raising, we weren't going to let that child down once we'd taken them in.
        • simona mckenzie on September 27, 2012
          Sorry David for giving the wrong impression....yes of course it is from 2013 but some areas are doing the pilots and for the most disadvantaged but it will be called Free Entitlement. Speaking of fair share I was questioning whether settings will get some funding and it not going to those using it for huge building I said I, and many other c/ms, have the capacity for 2 year olds now so very little will come to us if at all ?
          • simona mckenzie on September 27, 2012
            Sorry for the addition David...I will not comment on 'having to be in a network' as a c/m...sore subject this and honestly the most divisive issue amongst c/ms who belong against those who don't...I won't go that way or will here writing an essay about the subject!
      • Diane on September 28, 2012
        The offer is not an entitlement until September 13. Many authorities have not widley publised this as yet due to there being insufficient places as once it is an entitlement it is anticipated that the demand will outweigh the supply of places.
        • simona mckenzie on October 6, 2012
          Agreed it will be an entitlement from Sept 2013. Many LAs are now opening networks for all c/ms to become Accredited and give the least mine is doing so that after years of exclusion Also there is research going on right now to find out about the delivery ...see Daycare Trust who is seeking views from providers
    • Sam on March 10, 2013
      We are forces but were told we arnt entitled to funding!!!
  8. simona mckenzie on September 25, 2012
    Gill Is £6.60 for the 2 year old funding? what is the amount for 3/4 funding compared to your local fees...does it cover them or will you be subsidising the govt?? My worry about this £100m is that it is supposed to provide 260,000 places ...that is £38.46 per child !! some expansion! I doubt the LAs will be transparent in sharing this money.....our fight should be against them now. This issue coupled with proposed deregulation is indeed the last many high quality c/ms will decide to call it a day and leave the govt in the mess they deserve to be!!! I fear Clegg has made another pledge that will require another 'sorry...I am so sorry'!
  9. Julie McMonagle on September 26, 2012
    Of course it is good news that more children will receive early care and education supporting them for the future. Again, it come down to money. We are a put away setting and therefore have to stretch the income for the children to cover these working hours. The child/staff ratio is higher and rightly so these children need more physical care but the hourly rate is not adequate.
  10. Fiona Jackson on September 26, 2012
    I think it's totally absurd funding for 2.year olds do the government realise that the payment would need to be substantially more as the child/staff ratio is greatly reduced. It would create financial hardship for most carers if it remained at the pittance it is now
  11. Lynda dobson on September 26, 2012
    My concerns are that some vulnerable children will be placed into childcare settings merely to get them out of the parent's way. While i can appreciate the value of this for the child and would not deny them the experience, I worry that after a lovely child - focused, stimulating session/day they will be returning to poor parenting in chaotic homes. The roots of improving life's learning journey for those children is that alongside funded care, their parents need to enter into quality parenting programmes and understand their development and needs. Money for maternal mental health and welfare being part of the package?
  12. Pingback: Capital Funding agreed for the two year old free entitlement | Family Resource Centre UK 27 Sep, 2012

    […] and childminders to expand to offer more places to two-year-olds. To find out more please visit: Call us today 0800 328 9148 Share what you care about Terms of […]

  13. Pingback: Capital Funding agreed for the two year old free entitlement | Family Resource Centre UK 4 Oct, 2012

    […] and childminders to expand to offer more places to two-year-olds. To find out more please visit: Call us today 0800 328 9148 Share what you care about Terms of […]