The Liberal Democrats have 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.
Dr Richard Benwell, Lib Dem candidate for the constituency of Wantage, said: "In combination with our promise of 35 hours free childcare from nine months, this extra funding will help to ensure children from all backgrounds have the help and support they need in these formative years. Early Years providers will be much more able to better support children from disadvantaged backgrounds under these plans."
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; and
- Providing 35 hours free childcare from the day parents go back to work to the day their child starts school