Sunday, May 19, 2024

Free pre-school for parents on benefits

FUNDING for pre-school education is now on offer in Thurrock, with the ‘two-year-old early years entitlement’ which provides free high-quality early education and childcare for children whose parents or carers are on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits.

This means nursery education is now provided for one in five local children of pre-school age as funding for education for two-year-olds increases.

Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for education, Cllr John Kent, said: “High quality early years education can have a positive impact on a child’s whole school career, laying firm foundations from the outset.

“The benefits include developing children’s speech and listening skills, as well as their social skills. It helps to build children’s confidence and supports their love of learning. Research also shows that high-quality early years education improves children’s educational outcomes by building strong foundations for their future learning.”

Free childcare can be taken as 15 hours a week during school term time, and in some childcare settings it can be ‘stretched’ over a longer period for fewer hours each week.

Eligible children can access funding from the first school term after their second birthday and can receive 570 hours over three terms.

Application forms are available from children’s centres and child care providers who are eligible to deliver the Two Year Old Early Years Entitlement. For more information, please contact the Family Information Service on 01375 652801 or email


  1. Is this addtional money the council found down the back of the sofa or is this additional money made available from the evil central government.

  2. It is good news Bernard87 and it would be ever so nice of the great leader if he could perhaps be a little clearer where the money came from. There are a number of things that have happened recently where the council has said that no funding was available to alleviate potential hardship, the under-occupancy of council housing for instance, becasue of the evil Tory cuts. Now I have no doubt that if the funding came from the baby eaters at the treasury, the good comrade would make that clear in his statement. If it came from previously unidentified funds within the councils coffers, it begs the question as to whether there will be more little gems like this pulled out of the fire a few months before the leader is up for re-election.

  3. NoVoice wins the prize for asking a good question. It’s Government money. But shh, Comrade Kent is in desperate need of some good news, what with Kiely, Baldwin, Bins and everything else in his in-tray…

  4. Absolutley correct, this is money from those nasty people in the Big House On The Thames

    The Department is nationally investing £291 million in 2012-13; £534 million in 2013-14; and £760 million in 2014-15. This gradual increase of funding is to allow authorities time to build quality and capacity, particularly in disadvantaged areas. In 2012-13 this funding is being allocated to local authorities through the Early Intervention Grant, and they will make their own decisions about how much to spend on their local needs and priorities.

    The Department has retained £5 million to support local authorities with delivery in 2012-13.

    From 2013-14 funding for two-year-olds will be included within the Dedicated Schools Grant – this means that it is ring-fenced for spending on education.

    But hey lets not let the truth spoil a great story eh 🙂

  5. I’m truly astounded that the comrade could have missed such a detail. It’s not like the Labour party to spin things to their favour is it. Thanks for clearing that up. Maybe the great leader could provide Your Thurrock with a clarification of the point. I’m sure it just slipped his mind. He does have lots of lies, sorry investigations to cover up, there I go again, get to the bottom of.


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