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The Extended Free Early Years Funding Entitlement in 2024

Hatching Dragons believes in making childcare as accessible as possible. It's the reason why we have our low-income household offer; and our public sector discounts of up to 50% for those who work in the NHS and other public bodies, amongst all the other discounts listed on our website. That is why we were thrilled to hear that the Government has finally heard our call to extend the funding support families receive to include children under the age of 2. I mean, who in London can afford to take 2 years off work as a full time parent anymore? Not many, and so it's about time that the funding mechanism is addressed to expand to include the children of parents who need it most, when they need it most.

We will, as a result, be expanding both the nature of the funding provision, the ages to which it applies and the allocation we offer on both a fully funded and part funded basis in line with our policies on funded places.

  • Preschool - September Intake: Providing 7 FTE places at each school 
  • Toddlers - 5 FTE places at each school on the fully funded basis
  • Babies - 3 FTE places at each school on the fully funded basis

These places are in high demand and will be made available upon application and are exclusive of the provision of places available on a part funded basis, which provides access to our bilingual programme and enrichment activities in Baby Yoga; Cookery club; Outings to our cultural monuments in the local area; Science and STEM club and sports clubs we offer on the full fee and part funded basis. If you'd like to find out more or just are interested in what we do, get in touch today via the below button!


Why? Access for all

In a world that values education and invests in the future of its children, providing access to high-quality early years education is crucial. It sets the foundation for a child's learning journey and shapes their developmental trajectory. Recognising this, the government has taken a significant step by extending the free early years funding entitlement in 2024. This blog post will explore the benefits of this extension and the positive impact it will have on our children's lives.

  1. Accessible Early Years Education for All: The extended free early years funding entitlement ensures that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, have access to quality early years education. By removing financial barriers, this initiative promotes inclusivity and equal opportunities for every child. It allows parents to make informed choices about their child's education and supports them in securing a strong educational foundation from the very beginning.
  2. Enhancing Developmental Milestones: Early years education plays a pivotal role in children's cognitive, social, and emotional development. The extension of free funding entitlement means that children will have increased opportunities to engage in structured learning experiences, receive personalised attention, and benefit from well-qualified educators. This enhanced provision will enable children to achieve important developmental milestones and foster a love for learning, setting them up for success throughout their educational journey.
  3. Closing the Achievement Gap: Education is a powerful tool for addressing societal inequalities, and the extended free early years funding entitlement is a significant step towards closing the achievement gap. By ensuring that all children have access to quality early education, regardless of their family's financial circumstances, we create a more level playing field. This initiative will contribute to narrowing the gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers, giving every child an equal chance to thrive academically.
  4. Supporting Working Parents: Balancing work and childcare can be challenging for parents, particularly those with limited financial resources. The extension of free early years funding entitlement eases this burden by providing parents with additional support. By offering accessible and affordable childcare options, this initiative enables parents to pursue their careers while ensuring their child receives a high standard of care and early education. It promotes workforce participation and empowers parents to contribute to the economy without compromising their child's educational well-being.
  5. Long-Term Economic Benefits: Investing in early years education has proven to yield long-term economic benefits. Quality early education not only prepares children for school but also has a positive impact on their future employability and earnings potential. By extending the free funding entitlement, we are investing in a skilled workforce of the future. Studies consistently show that early education leads to improved educational outcomes, reduced rates of unemployment, and decreased reliance on welfare programs. This initiative, therefore, not only benefits individual children and families but also strengthens our economy as a whole.

Conclusion: The extension of the free early years funding entitlement in 2024 is a significant stride towards creating a fairer and more equitable society. By providing access to quality early education, regardless of socioeconomic background, we are investing in the future of our children and empowering them to reach their full potential. This initiative not only benefits individual children and families but also promotes social mobility, narrows the achievement gap, and yields long-term economic advantages. It is a powerful statement about our commitment to the education and well-being of our youngest citizens, laying the foundation for a brighter and more prosperous future.