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Devon councillors are looking to embrace free early years education opportunities for some of the poorest families, welcoming a Government commitment to extend funding for families with disadvantaged two year olds.
The commitment is line with the objectives of the council’s 2gether programme, which has enabled many parents eligible for childcare places to apply for support through their local children’s centre. Children who have benefitted from 2gether include many with disabilities or special needs, with further welfare benefits including income support, jobseekers allowance, and child tax credits.
The Government plans to extend early education funding have been outlined for the next three years, with the council confirming that additional funding has already allowed for 643 places previously unavailable.
Cabinet member for children and well-being, Andrea Davis comments, “This additional funding for some of our most vulnerable families in Devon could have a significant impact on the life chances of these young children.
“The success of our children’s centres is well documented in demonstrating the positive impact of early education on a child’s life, and the benefits of learning and playing in a supportive and stimulating environment.
“2gether gives disadvantaged two year olds access to a range of social and educational opportunities; and provides an important link for their families into the community, employment, training and health based services offered at the centres.”
Other notable child learning developments in the county include the launch last month of a Children’s University project, designed to offer innovative out-of-school learning opportunities and to raise the aspirations of young people.