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Early Years Pupil Premium: Providers Survey

Research report

The government is committed to providing high quality childcare to all children. Studies such as the Department for Education (DfE)’s Effective Primary, Pre-School and Secondary Education (EPPSE) provide evidence of the positive impact of quality formal early years education on children’s later educational outcomes and social-behavioural development. This is particularly important for disadvantaged children – EPPSE shows that a high quality pre-school is seen to reduce the risk of anti-social or worried behaviour amongst disadvantaged children, as well as improving their later attainment. DfE continues to build this evidence base with the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED)

DfE introduced the Pupil Premium in April 2011, which is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. In April 2015 DfE introduced the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) to provide additional funding for 3 and 4 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. The main purpose of this funding is to help prepare young children for schooling.

EYPP is available to 3 and 4 year olds who meet the following criteria: their parent is in receipt of certain benefits such as income support or Jobseekers Allowance; or the child is currently looked after by a Local Authority; or the child has left care through an adoption, a special guardianship order or a child arrangement order. In addition, the child must receive the free early years education entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds (commonly taken as up to 15 hours of childcare for 38 weeks of the year and due to be extended to 30 hours for eligible families from September 2017)

The childcare provider can apply for this EYPP additional funding from their Local Authority for children who are eligible. The setting will then receive approximately £300 per year for each eligible child if their application is successful, i.e. the child meets the eligibility criteria outlined above.

In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of awareness and usage of EYPP in the childcare sector, DfE commissioned Kantar Public (formerly TNS BMRB) to conduct a representative survey of group-based and school-based early years providers.

The research was designed to speak to both providers who had applied for or received EYPP funding as well as those who had not applied. It covered a range of topics, including:
• The proportion of childcare providers aware of EYPP
• The proportion of childcare providers who had applied for EYPP in the last 12 months
• Providers’ experiences of the application process
• The ways in which providers had used the funding
• The ways in which providers assessed the impacts and outcomes of EYPP funding
• The barriers to applying for EYPP amongst providers who had not previously applied

This survey provides a benchmark of awareness and usage of EYPP, and its findings will help to inform future decisions about EYPP.

The research also explored childminders’ experiences of EYPP. Given the low incidence of childminders who have applied for EYPP it was not possible to conduct quantitative research with this audience or to measure awareness and behaviour. Instead qualitative interviews were conducted with childminders to explore the objectives of the research. This means these findings cannot be quantified as the group- and school-based provider surveys are.