The education secretary Damian Hinds is announcing funding today to create up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places, which will be shared among schools across the country.
As part of the Schools Nurseries Capital Fund, places will be created in areas where high numbers of families are on free school meals.
The new places will be provided through new build projects or by expanding existing provision in schools graded good or outstanding by Ofsted.
The DfE had originally earmarked £30m for the scheme, when it was first announced last September.
A spokesperson confirmed that the remaining £8m has not yet been allocated.
The funding is part of the Government’s £50m for social mobility, with £20m going towards Early Years Professional Development.
Also announced today are new measures to boost home-learning.
The three-year Hungry Little Minds campaign will give parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games, which the DfE said would help to help tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their children’s early learning.
This scheme builds on work by the DfE and the national literacy trust to bring together a coalition of businesses and organisations including the LEGO Group, Penguin Random house, Arriva and the Greggs Foundation.
Dunraven School in Streatham is already using new early learning content created by the LEGO Group and the EasyPeasy app.
The games are designed so that parents can play them with things they already have at home, including DUPLO bricks. The Lego Group is funding EasyPeasy’s development, with the partnership being piloted to 500 families, and plans to expand the scheme to 10,000 families before the end of the year.
Launching the campaign at Dunraven School, Mr Hinds said, ‘Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life but not everyone has family support at hand and there is no manual telling us how to do everything right.
‘Part of making sure our children have the opportunity to take advantage of all the joys of childhood and growing up is supporting them to develop the language and communication skills they need to express themselves. Sadly, too many children are starting school without these – and all too often, if there’s a gap at the very start of school, it tends to persist, and grow.
‘The only way we are going to solve this is through a relentless focus on improving early communication. So today, we’re launching a society-wide drive with new nursery places, support from business and steps to make learning easier in the home – to improve early learning across the country.’
Founder and CEO of EasyPeasy Jen Lexmond said, ‘We welcome the Department for Education’s campaign in highlighting how everyday moments can be opportunities for learning, long before children start their first day of school. Our community of parents use EasyPeasy to discover, play, create and share learning games with their children to develop the skills they need to succeed at school and beyond.’
She said that the partnership with LEGO had produced new learning games and would support the app’s future development.
The other home-learning projects are:
Through a partnership with Pearson free early years vocabulary intervention kits are being given to 500 nurseries in areas of high deprivation, developed with speech therapists using LEGO Education Storytales resources and designed to close the speech and language gap among three- and four-year-olds.
Employees will volunteer at Small Talk events in Swindon, run by the National Literacy Trust. Held in venues, such as shopping centres and coffee shops, trained staff volunteers will show parents simple activities they can do at home with their children to support their early language development.
Training resources will be given to its 1,350 volunteers to help them support children and parents in developing language and communication skills at 550 breakfast clubs in the UK, attended by over 33,000 children.
Working with 12 bookshops across the UK to offer individual grants up to £2,000 to run events with parents of under-fives, including storytelling sessions, story sacks, and an eight-week cours to boost parents' confidence.
Arriva in partnership with Random House
Running a series of book giveaways at its stations, as well as staff working with schools through volunteering. Frontline train staff will also be trained in early education tips.
The 66 successful schools to share £22m in capital funding are:
|Newbold CofE Primary School||Derbyshire|
|Morven Park Primary and Nursery School||Nottinghamshire|
|Lincoln Monks Abbey Primary School||Lincolnshire|
|Prince Avenue Academy and Nursery||Southend-on-Sea|
|Hogarth Primary School||Essex|
|Whitton Community Primary School||Suffolk|
|Canvey Island Infant School||Essex|
|Snape Community Primary School||Suffolk|
|St Clare's Catholic Primary School||Essex|
|Forest Approach Academy||Havering|
|Three Bridges Primary School||Ealing|
|Granton Primary School||Lambeth|
|Grange Primary School||Newham|
|Ark Oval Primary Academy||Croydon|
|Cramlington Village Primary School||Northumberland|
|Caldicotes Primary Academy||Middlesbrough|
|Central Walker Church of England Primary School||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|New York Primary School||North Tyneside|
|Stranton Primary School||Hartlepool|
|Morpeth Road Academy||Northumberland|
|West Cornforth Primary School||Durham|
|St Anne's Catholic Primary School||Wirral|
|Beechwood Primary School and Nursery||Cheshire East|
|Eastway Primary School||Wirral|
|St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School||Wirral|
|Riverside Primary School||Wirral|
|Unity Community Primary||Manchester|
|Orgill Primary School||Cumbria|
|Ash Grove Academy||Cheshire East|
|Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School||Warrington|
|The District CofE Primary School||St. Helens|
|Thames Primary Academy||Blackpool|
|Marsh Green Primary School||Wigan|
|The Priory Parish CofE Primary School||Wirral|
|St Paul's Catholic Primary School||Wirral|
|Kincraig Primary School||Blackpool|
|Meadowside Community Primary and Nursery School||Warrington|
|Greenfields Community Primary School||Kent|
|Molehill Primary Academy||Kent|
|St Mary's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School||Kent|
|Pyrcroft Grange Primary School||Surrey|
|Thomas Hickman School||Buckinghamshire|
|Barton Hill Academy||Torbay|
|Southbroom Infants' School||Wiltshire|
|St Dennis Primary Academy||Cornwall|
|Minerva Primary School||Somerset|
|School of Christ The King Catholic Primary||Bristol City of|
|Princecroft Primary School||Wiltshire|
|Oasis Academy Warndon||Worcestershire|
|Victoria Park Primary||Sandwell|
|Reynalds Cross School||Solihull|
|St Oswald's CofE Primary School||Worcestershire|
|Northfield Manor Primary Academy||Birmingham|
|Cleeve Prior CofE (Controlled) Primary School||Worcestershire|
|Ward End Primary School||Birmingham|
|St Mary's CofE (VA) Primary School||Worcestershire|
|Goldsmith Primary Academy||Walsall|
|Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School||Sheffield|
|Selby Community Primary School||North Yorkshire|
|Fairburn View Primary School, Castleford||Wakefield|
|Wybourn Community Primary & Nursery School||Sheffield|
|Mill Field Primary School||Leeds|
|Grange Primary School||North East Lincolnshire|
|Woodhouse West Primary School||Sheffield|