Pilot schemes for two-year-olds

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Government funding set aside for local authorities to address key issues in free early learning and childcare

Fifteen local authorities have been given money to look at how best to provide free early learning and childcare to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds in their communities.

The Government funding, which totals £4 million, will be used to address a number of key issues. For example, Northamptonshire plan to increase the number of childminders who reach the quality standards for delivery of the free entitlement. Other authorities will be testing out ways of allowing parents to transfer unused hours of provision into the following year.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said she hoped that local authorities across the country would learn from the pilots before the scheme is rolled out nationally to all disadvantaged two-year-olds in 2013.

The local authorities taking part in the trial are: Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Hartlepool, Hertfordshire, Manchester and Tameside, Medway, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Rotherham, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Sutton and Merton, Tower Hamlets, Walsall and Wolverhampton.