At NurseryBook HQ, we are committed to tackling one thorny early years issue a month. In September, that topic is the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP). The media and early years practitioners, from nursery managers to child-minders, have been debating the issue for months now, but what does it really mean and how might it impact your child’s setting?
Well, NurseryBook is here to bring you the facts every parent should know.
If your child is eligible for the EYPP, make sure you take advantage of extra money your childcare practitioner can use to help him or her get the best possible preparation for school. And even if your child is not eligible for the funding, understanding its impact on the childcare sector could affect the way you choose an early years setting for your child or help you understand how your child could also benefit from an investment in additional resources.
What is it?
EYPP is the government’s additional funding scheme that aims to improve the education provided for 3-4 year old disadvantaged children, who attend any early years setting that provides education and care to under 5s, such as child-minders and nurseries. The EYPP allocates 53p an hour funding per child, which amounts to just over £302 in a year.
There is a wealth of research proving that quality early years education can make a huge impact on a child’s results at primary and secondary level, and beyond.
Although it’s a relatively small amount of money, it has the potential to have a major impact on the way we think about early years education by focusing on putting all children, no matter their background, on an equal footing by the time they go to primary school. Early years settings will assess the specific needs of their eligible children and plan interventions to address these, from pooling several children’s funding to create a new outside space for those who live in high-rise flats in inner cities, to bringing in a language and communication specialist for children who don’t speak English as a first language. Some interventions will be personal and specific, even short term, others may have a positive long-term impact on all children attending the same setting.
A child’s eligibility to EYPP funding can seem complicated, but essentially it is available for children aged 3-4 years old whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or who were formerly in local authority care but who left care because they were adopted or were subject to a special guardianship or child arrangements order. The Department for Education has provided an eligibility tool to help combat confusion surrounding the scheme.
The main challenge highlighted by early years commentators is gathering the right information from parents to identify children who are eligible. As the scheme is relatively new, some parents are unaware the funding is available, whilst others don’t speak English as a first language, or don’t understand why they should share personal information such as their National Insurance number, salaries and the benefits they receive.
For all the reasons identified above, critical success factors include close relationships between early years settings and parents, and making it as easy as possible to gather the information necessary to make an application.
All early years settings receiving the funding will be required to demonstrate they are investing funds effectively, with measurable targets and results. So the success of the EYPP will only start to become clear after these measures have been communicated – probably at least a year after the scheme was launched this April.
However, successful longer-running schemes at primary and secondary level show the theory is sound and we know quality early years education can make the most significant impact on a child’s overall outcome.
Department of Education Guide
Government Eligibility Tool
Free NurseryBook EYPP Tool