Parents urged to access
vital funding to help children become 'School Ready'
LIFE chances commission finds that a
⅓ of childcare settings in the Liverpool City Region are missing out on
vital funding of up to ₤300 per week, for disadvantaged children. Commission
announces 3 moves to counter low take up...
Ensuring a child is ready for school, regardless of their background, is a key
priority for the Liverpool City Region Life Chances Commission which informs the
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's Health, Adult and Children's Services
The Commission has found in a survey that the Early Years Pupil Premium, a fund
worth up to ₤300 per week, which is aimed at helping 3 and 4 year olds become
'school ready,' is having a positive impact on disadvantaged children's development
in the Liverpool City Region:-
Most childcare providers see clear improvements in confidence, self esteem,
language and communication skills as a result of the funding.
Funding is generally being used on communication and language training, early
literacy programmes, play based learning and social and emotional learning
Using funding for play and outdoor based learning has improved social and
emotional skills as well as language and communication.
1 respondent to the survey stated that:- "most children in last year's
cohort made more than expected or accelerated progress in most areas of
as a result of an:- 'Early Years Pupil Premium' funded programme.
A number of providers stated that the Early Talk Boost and Chatterjacks
programmes in particular have improved communication and language skills.
However, take up of the funding remains incomplete, with around a
childcare providers surveyed by the Commission not receiving any 'Early Years
Pupil Premium' funding. Those providers are aware of eligible children who were
not claiming the extra funding, and 1 of the main reasons for this is due to a
lack of awareness amongst parents that they are able to apply for it.
The Commission announces 2 moves to help counter this
low rate of take up. It has:-
As an immediate move, urged every local authority to use their benefits data
automatically to register eligible families for this additional support, before
the full Universal Credit service arrives. As a longer term measure, requested that the
Minister of State for Digital develop a new digital charter to counter child
poverty and equalise life chances. This would enable improved sharing of data
between providers and local authorities, once Universal Credit has been rolled
out, so that all eligible children automatically benefit from 'Early Years Pupil
Premium' and free school meals.
The Commission's Chair, Frank Field MP said:-
"We are clearly seeing
improvements in a child's development where the Early Years Pupil Premium
funding has been claimed. The early years are a critical time during a child's
development and the funding provides opportunities that can be life changing.
Whilst the money isn't necessarily visible to parents, it does benefit their
child, so it's vitally important that parents of eligible children apply for
In the meantime, the Commission is urging parents to apply now so their children
can benefit from this additional support. To find out more about eligibility, or
to apply for funding, parents can contact their Nursery or Childminder in the
first instance. Further information about the Early Years Pupil Premium Fund is
available from local Family Information Services.
Cllr Andy Moorhead, Portfolio Holder for the Liverpool City Region Health, Adult
and Children's Services added:- "Our priority is to ensure children across
the Liverpool City Region get the very best start in life and Early Years Pupil
Premium funding can provide additional support and resources to accelerate a
child's development. I would urge any parent to speak to their childcare
provider to see if they are eligible and ensure the funding is claimed; if we
don't claim, someone else will!"