From September 2017, the Government is introducing an additional 15 hours of free early years education entitlement (FEEE) for working families. This will be on top of the universal offer of 15 hours, which all three and four year olds can continue to access. The Government anticipates that 390,000 children nationally will be eligible for the new entitlement, with indications that 89% of parents would take up the additional hours.

The Government has confirmed the eligibility criteria as follows:

  • Both parents working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) with each parent having a weekly income equivalent to 16 hours at the national wage or living wage, and;
  • Neither parent has an income of more than £100,000 per year.

The intention is to help families by reducing the cost of childcare and supporting parents to work. Childcare in the early years offers a caring and happy experience that supports children’s development and gets children ready to thrive at school and in later life.

Data supplied by the Department for Education (DfE) has indicated Derby will have around 2,050 children who will be eligible for the new entitlement. However, when using more localised data sources, the indication is that this is likely to be higher at around 2,118 children. Based on this, the Council has been given the opportunity to bid for early years capital projects to create additional places.

Our bids to the DfE for early years capital funding have resulted in improved access to the new extended entitlement of 30 hours of free childcare at Brackensdale Infant School and Alvaston Infant School in Derby. This additional funding supports the Council’s ability to meet its statutory duty to secure sufficient childcare.

Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:

I am delighted that the Council has been successful with its bids for early year’s capital funding Brackensdale Infant School and Alvaston Infant school. This is really good news and will help to further improve early years teaching and learning for our children and young people at the schools.

Councillor Paul Pegg, Mackworth Ward said:

This is great news for the Mackworth Ward residents. It will help those parents who want to get back to work do so. I would like to thank all of the staff involved along with Councillor Russell for securing the funds to make this possible.

The successful bid at Brackensdale school will be for adaptations and an extension to create the new provision. Works will involve the relocation of the current Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision (within the school) to allow for refurbishment, and an extension to provide 26 FEEE places. The scheme at Alvaston school will also provide new accommodation for 26 FEEE places.