Drop in session for parents to find out more about free nursery places

Published: Wednesday 25th February 15

Parents of younger children who live in Wandsworth can find out more about a whole range of childcare options including free nursery places at a special drop in session at the Putney Exchange shopping centre later this week.

Staff from the council’s family information service will be on hand to offer helpful advice to parents about free nursery places for three and four-years-olds plus free early years education options for two-year-olds living in low income households.

Parents who would like to find out more about local childcare options can visit the Putney Exchange on Friday, February 27 between 2pm and 4.30pm where staff from the family information service will be manning an information stall.   

Hundreds of two-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds are currently receiving free nursery sessions in Wandsworth as part of a £6m investment in their education and development.

More than 800 children from the borough’s least well off families are currently receiving these free sessions. This represents nearly 62 per cent of eligible two-year-olds in the borough - the fourth highest take-up rate in England.

Figures released by the Department for Education show that the national average take up rate is 55 per cent while the London average stands at just 43 per cent. 

These Wandsworth places have been provided as part of a £5m investment in younger children’s education and are being delivered in existing nurseries and other Ofsted approved buildings.

Around £1m has been invested in bringing buildings up to the required high standard and ain providing new facilities and equipment. This includes a £475,000 spend on a new children’s centre in King George’s Park which will offer a full range of services for younger children every day of the week, including drop-in stay and play sessions free of charge when it opens in February.

Children’s services spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “This huge expansion in provision means we are currently providing free nursery places for 805 children from the borough’s most disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds. This is having a hugely positive impact on their educational and social development.

“Many more children have benefited from this scheme over the past 12 to 18 months and gone on to take advantage of other early years placements that we provide for three and four-year-olds.

“The aim is to identify vulnerable children very early in their lives and target services to give them the best possible support before they start school. It also aims to support parents who need some childcare help to get back into employment.”

To contact the family information service visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/fis

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