Free education places on offer for tots

Published on: 26 Sep 2013

MORE children than expected are taking up nursery places in South Gloucestershire under a national scheme to provide free education for two year-olds living in low-income households.

The council says 479 children have places a take-up rate of 87 per cent of all eligible children.

The government had originally allocated funding for 439 places in South Gloucestershire assuming a take-up rate of 80 per cent.

Chairman of the council’s Children and Young People Committee Councillor Ian Blair said: “This scheme has many benefits, both for children and their parents, and I am delighted to see that we have made such a positive start in South Gloucestershire.”

Eligible families, such as those receiving income support or Jobseekers Allowance, can receive up to 15 hours of free early years education per week delivered flexibly to suit family circumstances.

The scheme is funded by national government, with local authorities responsible for engaging eligible families and arranging places with childcare providers.

Further funding will be provided to allow expansion to double the number of places available during the next year, with additional places provided each term starting in January, April and September 2014.

For further information on the scheme, see


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