Free childcare for 2 year olds to be trialled in some areas

Nick Clegg has announced plans to trial free childcare to almost 1,000 two year olds across England from this September.  From September 2013, it is intended that 150,000 of the most disadvantaged two year-olds will be receiving up to 15 hours of preschool education a week, with the figure rising to 260,000 by September 2014.

The first areas to benefit from the scheme are Blackpool, Cornwall, Greenwich, Kent,Lambeth, Lancashire, Newcastle, Northamptonshire, Peterborough and Rotherham.

Mr Clegg said: “We’re revolutionising the early start our children get in life.

“Every child should have a fair crack at the whip from the start and be able to go on to fulfil their potential.”

The announcement is intended to have an effect on child protection matters in that parents will be able to work more flexible hours whilst receiving suitable child care, in particular for the most disadvantaged children.

Mr Clegg added: “There are real concerns for families, as nurseries begin charging top-up fees, children’s centres funding is slashed, and family tax credits are being cut.”