Pre-School Education: Finance

Treasury written question – answered on 15th May 2008.

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Photo of Susan Kramer Susan Kramer Cabinet Office, Shadow Secretary of State, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much he plans his Department will spend on extending the universal early years education entitlement to 15 hours per week in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Children, Young People and Families; Minister for the North West), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children and Youth Justice) (and Minister for the North West)

I have been asked to reply.

The extension of the free entitlement will enhance the opportunities available to every three and four year old, giving them the best possible start in life. Providing 15 more flexible hours will also ensure that families are able to use the entitlement in a way which best helps them to balance work and family life.

The Government invest more than £3 billion per year in the existing entitlement. In addition, the extension to the free entitlement is being funded through a new investment of £590 million over 2008-11 (£80 million in 2008-09, £170 million in 2009-10 and £340 million in 2010-11.

Funding beyond 2011 will, of course, be a matter for future spending reviews.

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