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Early learning for two-year-olds: trials

Learning and case studies

During 2012-13 the Department for Education (DfE) funded ten local authorities to offer early learning to those two-year-olds, within specific localities, meeting the eligibility criteria due to be introduced nationally in September 2013. The local authorities took practical steps to overcome a range of challenges around supply, quality and parental demand.

We know that delivering the early learning for two-year-olds programme will be a challenge – requiring creative and innovative solutions. Key concerns identified by local authorities included how to raise the quality of settings in sufficient numbers to provide enough places, and ensure that there were enough qualified practitioners available to work with two-year-olds. Other issues for local authorities included how to develop systems to identify and monitor eligible children and make sure that where families had cultural or attitudinal barriers to using formal early learning, they didn’t miss out.

This report brings together learning from these trials. The case studies in this report show that local authorities and providers are able to develop partnerships and use a range of innovative local strategies and solutions to address capacity and sustainability for the two-year-old programme. We hope that the examples in this report can be shared more widely.