Lib Dems commit to tripling early years pupil premium

The Lib Dems have published their manifesto, including commitments to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into UK law and to tackle child poverty.

On early education and childcare specifically, they aim to “close the attainment gap by giving disadvantaged children aged three and four an extra five free hours a week and tripling the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000 a year” and “When the public finances allow, give disadvantaged two-year-olds an extra five free hours of early years education a week, as another step towards a universal, full-time entitlement for all two- to four-year-olds.”

They say they will review rates paid to providers for the funded hours and develop “a career strategy for nursery staff, including a training programme with the majority of those working with children aged two to four to have a relevant Early Years qualification or be working towards one. They also commit to simplifying the registration and regulation processes for childminders.

We welcome the increased rate of EYPP as an important recognition that funding needs to be more targeted towards the children in greatest need, as well as ensuring funding rates across the board are reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose. We are also pleased to see a commitment to the career development of the workforce and increasing the proportion of qualified staff.

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