3600 children in Cumbria gain access to free early years education thanks to MP's lobbying
South Lakes MP and Lib Dem Party President Tim Farron has welcomed today's announcement by Children and Families Minister Sarah Teather, that 3600 two-year-old children in Cumbria will be able to access free early years education.
The announcement, detailing which two-year-olds will be eligible for free early years education from September 2014, revealed that under the proposed criteria 3600 two-year-old children from the most hard pressed families in Cumbria will be able to receive free early years education.
Currently, all three and four-year-old children in Cumbria are already eligible to receive 15 hours of free early years education per week. Last November the Government announced that 900 children from Cumbria would benefit through the plan, but since then Tim has lobbied Ministers to make sure even more families in our county benefit.
Commenting, Tim said: "This is great news for parents and toddlers in Cumbria. Early years education, through play and stories, helps young children prepare for school. It's also a huge help to parents who may be struggling to juggle work commitments and family life.
"By making early years education freely available to the least well-off families and providing additional money to schools through the Pupil Premium, we are ensuring we give our children the best possible start in life."
Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: "A decent early education can make a huge difference to the start of a child's progress, unlocking their potential to help them follow their ambitions. All children should have a fair chance to get on in life, which is why we're extending free childcare to as many two year olds as possible."