Million pounds boost for three and four year olds schooling in Kent
By Alan Bullion
Nurseries, childminders and other early years providers in Kent are set for a £1,134, 861 cash injection to help three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.
Children from low-income families have often fallen behind better off classmates before they even start school.
But from April 2015 the Early Years Pupil Premium - which has been backed by groups like Barnados, 4Children and the Child Poverty Action Group - will mean extra money to make sure every child gets a fair start.
Dr Alan Bullion, Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Sevenoaks and Swanley, warmly welcomed the news.
"By investing over a million pounds in Kent to help the most disadvantaged three and four-year-olds, Liberal Democrats are ensuring that children are getting the best possible start in life," he said.
"All evidence shows that helping children early is vital to ensure they do not fall behind. That is why this announcement is fantastic news for children.
"This is all part of creating a fairer society and opportunity for everyone."
Nurseries and schools will be free to choose how to spend the money, which is part of a £50m Government pot.
It comes on top of Lib Dem-led changes in Government to help families, which include shared parental leave, tax-free childcare, Free School Meals, and a pupil premium for school age children.
Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws, who recently pushed through a £3,4m improvement grant for Oakwood Park Grammar School in nearby Maidstone, added: "Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, whatever their background.
"Liberal Democrats in government have already extended free early years education for all children in Sevenoaks and Swanley.
"Now this cash boost will mean extra support for those children who need it most."
You can read the statements of third party support here: