Free childcare for two-year-olds to be piloted in Greenwich and Lambeth

09:05 30 May 2012

Greenwich and Lambeth in London are to pilot a scheme for almost 1,000 two-year-olds to benefit from free childcare a year early.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced trials in 10 areas in England starting this September.

He also announced changes to introduce greater flexibility to allow more parents to take advantage of the scheme - already used by more than 800,000 three and four-year-olds.

It is intended that 150,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds will receive up to 15 hours a week of free pre-school education from September 2013, rising to 260,000 in 2014.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his 2010 spending review that the free childcare currently available to three and four-year-olds would gradually be extended to two-year-olds in England.

Mr Clegg said: “We’re revolutionising the early start our children get in life - there will be more free childcare, it will be higher quality, and it will be more flexible for parents.

“By getting things right from the off, we’re making sure our youngsters are ready to learn when they start school so that they get the most out of their education.

“Every child should have a fair crack at the whip from the start and be able to go on to fulfil their potential.”

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