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Schools to get £5m funding to work with nurseries boosting early years education

Childcare minister Sam Gyimah has announced £5m of funding to schools so they can partner up with nurseries to drive up standards and share best practice.

The funding will be awarded to more than 60 schools across the country who will work with nurseries locally and support effective transitions from nursery into primary school.

Mr Gyimah announced the funding during a visit to St Pauls Nursery School in Bristol, which will benefit from £60,000 funding to develop programmes with nearby nurseries to help meet the needs of children in the area.

He said: “I was delighted to visit St Pauls Nursery School to learn more about how Bristol’s children are set to benefit from this innovative scheme, which will help ensure they receive the very best early years education.

“We know the first few years of a child’s life can be make or break in terms of how well they go on to do at school and beyond - and the sharing of expertise and best practice is vital to driving innovation and raising standards.

“This is a fantastic example of local schools, nurseries and private providers pulling together to improve the fantastic services on offer to families, helping their children to thrive.” He revealed that the initiative is the latest step in the Government’s drive to make sure all children - no matter what their starting point in life - receive the best possible start in life and are ready to begin school, especially those from low-income families.

The Department for Education (DfE) highlighted research which shows children from less advantaged backgrounds can start school 19 months behind their peers, but good-quality early years education can reduce this gap and have a significant benefit in terms of a child’s development.

Children who benefit from good-quality early years can go on to earn around £27,000 more during their career compared to those who don’t, and are also likely to do better at school - the equivalent of 7 GCSE grades at grade ‘B’ compared to grade ‘C’, according to the DfE.

February 2015