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The Free Entitlement to Education for Three and Four Year Olds

7 View(s), published at 2012-05-01, written by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts, published by The Stationery Office
The Free Entitlement to Education for Three and Four Year Olds

The free entitlement to education for three and four year olds by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts The Department for Education provides funding for local authorities to pay for three and four year olds to receive their entitlement to 15 hours of free education each week. The Department devolves de.... Published date on: 2012-05-01 with total page: 39 pages. Publisher of The Free Entitlement to Education for Three and Four Year Olds is The Stationery Offi

The Department for Education provides funding for local authorities to pay for three and four year olds to receive their entitlement to 15 hours of free education each week. The Department devolves delivery to local authorities and providers but it is responsible for the overall value for money from the system. In 2011-12 the Department's estimated funding for the entitlement of £1.9 billion provided over 800,000 three and four year olds with access to free education; an estimated annual allocation of approximately £2,300 per child. While the Department and local authorities have focused on ensuring places for children are available, there has been less attention on how value for money can be secured and improved. While there is evidence of educational improvement at age five, the evidence that this is sustained is questionable. The Department needs to do more to understand how educational benefits can be lasting. There is not enough good information for parents to make informed choices and there is concern at reports that some families are still not receiving the entitlement free of charge. It is important that all parents know what the entitlement is and that it should be provided completely free. Early years education has the greatest benefit for children from disadvantaged backgrounds however these children have the lowest levels of take-up and deprived areas have the lowest levels of high quality services. The Department needs to identify and share good practice from those local authorities which are having the most success.

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