Time and time again research demonstrates that high quality early-years provision is essential to improving the life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in some of the most struggling families in Britain.
That’s why it’s great to hear that the Government is funding an initiative in our borough that is designed to help bridge that gap to ensure that every child starts school with the best possible chance of realising their potential.
Children’s centres in Croydon will work with the Council to support 2,500 free childcare places for two-year-olds by September 2014. Each child whose family meets the free school meals criteria with an income below £16,190 will be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare every week. Those with a statement of special educational needs, those who are in receipt of disability living allowance or those who are adopted from care can also access the places.
I know that the Council is working hard to develop a strong early intervention strategy, and it’s initiatives like this that will make their work a success and positively impact on the lives of thousands of Croydon residents.