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Nursery Schools: Teesside

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children in (a) Teesside and (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency are in receipt of 15 hour entitlement to free nursery care; (179617)

(2) what estimates he has made of the number of children in (a) Teesside and (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency who will be affected by the funding allocated to improve nursery schools in the region.

All three and four-year-olds in England are able to access 12½ hours a week of free early education for 38 weeks of the year. The available information on the number of part-time funded places filled by three and four-year-olds in (a) Teesside and (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency is shown in the following table.

Local authority area

Three-year-olds

Four-year-olds

Middlesbrough

1,700

1,600

Redcar and Cleveland

1,500

1,500

Stockton-on-Tees

2,000

2,100

Teesside

6,200

6,200

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland parliamentary constituency area

1,000

930

From 2010, all children will be entitled to 15 hours a week of free early years provision for 38 weeks of the year and access will be more flexible. The extension will be rolled out across the country over the next three years. Middlesbrough is a pathfinder local authority and will begin delivering 15 hours a week from September 2008. Nationally, we expect 25 per cent. of children in all local authorities to be able to access 15 hours in 2009 with the remainder being eligible in 2010.

In addition to revenue funding to support roll out of the extended free entitlement, £642 million capital funding has been made available nationally over the period 2008-11 to improve quality in early years settings and to ensure that all children, including disabled children, are able to access provision. £378,220,601 child care sufficiency and access revenue funding has also been made available over the same period to ensure that local authorities can fulfil their duties to secure sufficient child care for parents in work and training and to provide information and advice to parents and providers; and to increase take-up of child care and early education, especially among disadvantaged groups. It is for local authorities to determine how this funding is allocated based on local needs and circumstances.