News Release from Alex Burghart MP - Local Investment in New Nursery Places

Brentwood and Ongar MP, Alex Burghart, has visited Hogarth Primary School (see pic) in Brentwood to find out how it will benefit from new investment in nursery school places.

The Government is investing £22 million in creating up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places across the country, so that more children can access high-quality early education. At the same time, a new national campaign has been launched to boost children’s early literacy and communication skills, ensuring every child gets the best start in life.

This follows data released last month showing that 9,614 children in Essex are benefiting from the Government’s 30-hour free childcare offer, which saves working families around £5,000 per year per child.

Alex said: “All parents want to give their children the best possible start, and I’m thrilled that this new investment will help more local families with the challenge of balancing work and family life. For parents, high-quality childcare is not just an issue, but the issue, and I know from speaking with families in Brentwood and Ongar what a difference 30 hours of free childcare is making.”

ENDS.

For more information please contact Alex Burghart MP on 0207 219 1613

Notes to Editors

  • £22 million of capital investment will support the delivery of up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places across the country. 66 projects have been awarded funding in total, with provision focused in areas with high numbers of families who qualify for free school meals (DfE, 2 July 2019, link). 
  • Data released last month showed that 378,774 children were in 30-hour childcare places from April to July this year. The Government's 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents launched nationally on 1 September 2017. The doubled the former 15 hour entitlement introduced in 2010 (DfE, 8 May 2015, link; DfE, 31 August 2017, link; DfE, 13 June 2019, link).
  • The percentage of children reaching a good level of development by the end of Reception has increased from 51.7 per cent to 71.5 per cent since 2013. To increase this further, the Government’s ‘Hungry Little Minds’ campaign will support parents with video tips, advice and suggested games to help them use everyday opportunities to support their children’s development (DfE, 2 July 2019, link). 
  • The proportion of early years providers rated good or outstanding has risen from 74 per cent in 2012 to 95 per cent this year. More childminders and nurseries are providing good and outstanding childcare so that every child gets the opportunity to get on in life (Ofsted, Ofsted Annual Report 2017/18: education, children’s services and skills, 4 December 2018, link; DfE, Childcare providers and inspections, 18 June 2019, link).