Press release

New funding will help most disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds

The early years pupil premium is worth up to £300 per child.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Child painting

Schools, nurseries and childminders will be given up to £300 for every 3- and 4-year-old from a low-income family to help prevent them falling behind before they have even started school, the government has set out today (23 October 2014).

The early years pupil premium, totalling £50 million, is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers, setting them on a path to a more successful future.

In a response to an early years pupil premium and funding for 2-year-olds consultation published today, the government has also announced that 7 areas will share a £1 million pot to trial the new support ahead of its introduction nationwide next April.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

It is vital that we intervene at the earliest possible stage and do all we can to help young children develop and learn.

I’m so proud that we’ve been able to deliver this early years pupil premium so that toddlers from the poorest families get the support they need, which will pay dividends later in life.

In my view, this will be one of the great legacies of this government, helping create a fairer society which benefits families up and down the country.

Childcare and Education Minister Sam Gyimah said:

Ensuring parents have access to affordable, flexible and high-quality early years provision is a key part of our plan for 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.

We want to see this money being put to the best use to ensure that all children, whatever their background, are getting the best start in life.

Nurseries will have the freedom to decide how to use the early years pupil premium to help 3- and 4-year-olds learn and develop, for example more qualified staff or specialists in activities like speech and language to give an extra focus on basic skills.

The early years pupil premium builds on the pupil premium, established in 2011, to transform the way we educate children from low-income families.

Alongside this announcement, the Department for Education has asked charity 4Children to launch a call for evidence on the early years pupil premium in November 2014 - asking providers to identify and share good practice around meeting the needs of disadvantaged children.

The early years pupil premium is part of the government’s programme of reforms to help children get ready to begin school, especially those who are from low-income families. This includes:

  • expanding 15 hours of free early education to 40% of 2-year-olds
  • expanding the role that schools play in the early years
  • tougher inspection and accountability through a stronger Ofsted framework
  • improving the quality of staff entering the early years workforce by introducing early years teachers
  • encouraging new providers into the market including through the introduction of childminder agencies
  • reducing regulation to make it easier for new providers to open and existing ones to expand through the Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Bill


  1. See the early years pupil premium consultation response.
  2. See more information about the pupil premium.
  3. Areas confirmed to trial the introduction of the early years pupil premium are: * Stoke * Blackpool * Cambridgeshire * north Yorkshire * Bristol * Hackney

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Published 23 October 2014