DfE launches ad campaign for twos places

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Ahead of the extension of the entitlement to funded early education places for two-year-olds next week, the Government has launched an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging parents to check their eligibility for the offer.

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An image from the DfE advertising campaign, which urges parents of two-year-olds to check whether they are eligible for 15 hours a week of free childcare

The Department for Education campaign is targeted in deprived areas where take-up has been low and asks parents to check whether they are entitled to a free place with their local authority or children’s centre.

From 1 September 40 per cent of two-year-olds - 260,000 children across England - will become eligible for 15 hours a week of pre-school education.

Last month the DfE said that the number of two-year-olds taking up free childcare places would have to increase by 55 per cent for the Government to meet its September target.

The campaign is aimed at areas where take-up has been low and it will run in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Lancashire and the East Midlands.

DfE figures show that as of May 2014, there were 116,000 children in two-year-old places, while projections for September 2014 are 180,000.

Posters will be positioned at the roadside, in supermarkets and on shopping trolleys, in shopping centres, play centres, nurseries, and leisure centres.

Enlarge Image twos-ad-campignThree different versions of the poster show young children playing outside and in early years settings, with the words: ‘You may be entitled to up to 15 hours’ free childcare a week’, directing parents to the website www.gov.uk/freechildcare

Childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah said, ‘It is wholly wrong that children from lower income backgrounds can get behind their peers even before they’ve attended their first primary school lesson.

'We know that good quality early education can make a huge difference in levelling the playing field and improving a child’s life chances.’

He said the free entitlement gave parents 'crucial support’ and urged them to check their eligibility.