The extension of the free early education entitlement to the 20% most disadvantaged two year-olds from September 2013 and 40% from September 2014, will increase the number of free early education places available to parents and accordingly will require an increase in the number of staff employed by early education providers, with proportionately more in deprived areas. The figure of 65,000 extra workers was calculated by the Independent on Sunday, based on the published number of new early years places that will be created. It does not take into account that there are unfilled places in some existing provision, or that places will be part-time. We are analysing the workforce implications, but no firm estimate of the number of extra jobs is yet available.
The Government announced funding for the new two year-old entitlement in the Autumn Statement, rising to £760 million per year by 2014-15. This funding will be distributed by local authorities to providers, who will be responsible for employing staff.