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Feb 18 2013

Free Early Education Boost For Sunderland Families

Free Early Education Boost For Sunderland Families

FREE EARLY EDUCATION is available for two-year old children to help the child’s personal development and improve their family’s future economic prospects.

The new Government backed initiative being launched in April will provide families in receipt of some benefits, with up to fifteen hours of free early education for their two-year old children.

It is hoped that being able to find places for their children within registered childcare settings, will allow parents the economic freedom and domestic flexibility to go back into education, training or look for work.

The childcare place will be provided at day-care nurseries or with registered childminders within the local community.

The number of two-year old children eligible for this support in Sunderland is expected to be 20 percent this September, but that figure is expected to double next year with 40% of parents with two-year olds in the city able to apply once the new initiative is established.

Information and guidance is available now at nurseries and childcare settings across the city and from the Families Information Service 0191 520 5553, with eligibility open to families entitled to free school meals or with specific needs.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith said: “Attending a high quality childcare place with either a qualified childminder or at a day-care nursery at such an early age, is known to give children a good start to their education.

“Having access to this free education will not only help the children but also help their families by providing parents with the flexibility and time to look toward improving their employment and economic circumstances.”

Rachel Putz from Sunderland City Council’s Early Intervention and Locality Services added: ” From the pilot that Sunderland has been running for two-year olds, we have found that the children make better progress at nursery and in school as they get older as a result of early education.

” Therefore we are delighted that so many more children will now be able to benefit.”

One of those taking part in the pilot is Joyce Simms, a mum of six from Southwick who said: “My son Jackson, aged two years old started New Beginnings nursery in January this year.

” Going to a nursery at a young age has really helped Jackson’s learning and development, he is starting to learn lots of new words.”

For further information please contact:
Kevin Douglas
Email: kevin.douglas@sunderland.gov.uk