An additional 15 hours of free early years’ education entitlement (FEEE) for working families will be introduced by the Government this September 2017.

This will be on top of the universal offer of 15 hours, which all children aged three and four years old can continue to access.

A £50 million grant scheme has been announced by the Education Secretary Justine Greening which will create almost 9,000 new free places for eligible three and four-year-olds.

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.

Derby City Council has been successful in securing funding of £207,274 for a project at Brackensdale Infant School to deliver additional free early education entitlement (FEEE) places for three and four-year-olds.

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

I am delighted that the Council has been successful with its bid for early year’s capital funding of £207,274 for Brackensdale 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 school.”

These new FEEE places have been allocated to meet the demand for the new entitlement targeted at working parents.

From September 2017, parents working 16 hours or more, earning the national living wage £115 per week, will be able to increase their current free childcare for three and four-year-olds from 570 free hours a year, up to a huge 1,140 hours.

The new provision will be open from Monday to Friday, at least 8.00am until 6.00pm, during term time and school holidays.

It will be delivered by Derwent Stepping Stones, an established childcare provider, in partnership with Brackensdale Infant School.  This extended entitlement will allow families to access childcare at a much lower cost over the year and improve their children’s education and progress from an early age.

Councillor Russell added:

We now look forward to working closely with the school and Derwent Stepping Stones in delivering this exciting project.”

Brackensdale Infant School and Derwent Stepping Stones have worked collaboratively for the past four years supporting families to access the two-year-old Flying Start funded places and their smooth transition into the school nursery.

This has seen remarkable results with children more school ready and able to embrace all the school has to offer as a result of this partnership.

The Early Years Capital Grant funding will allow the further expansion of their work together whilst ensuring that families are able to take advantage of the new extended entitlement to support them to work whilst the children enjoy the best start on their education journey.

The Department for Education (DfE) will be introducing an online eligibility checker for the extended educational entitlement later this year.

Published: Wednesday 18th January 2017