Quarter 1 - June 2019 performance
Annual figure has just been published by DfE.
The take up for 2 year olds have increased by 3% over the year and West Sussex is in the top quartile nationally and 2nd quartile against statistical neighbours.
The take up for 3 & 4 year olds has decreased by 1%. We are currently analysing the underlying population data used by the DfE specifically for the 4 year old cohort as the population has increased and it needs to be compared to that of the ONS mid-term estimates.
Quarter 4 - March 2019 performance
We have exceeded our annual target for 2 year olds and only 2% off the 2022 target of 84%. We are currently in the second  quartile and above national and statistical neighbour averages.
3 & 4 year old FE : 96%
This measure is reported once a year through the Early Years Census which takes place in January.  The population % is made up of a proxy measure based on forecasts set out in the 2015 ONS Mid Term Census. Note: Count of children aged 3 and 4 at 31 December in the previous calendar year. Numbers of 3- and 4-year-olds taking up places expressed as a percentage of the 3- and 4-year-old population. Population estimates from 2013 to 2017 have been revised, therefore take up rates may differ from previously published figures. The West Sussex revisions account for an additional 100 children in 2016 and a further 200 children in 2017.
West Sussex scores in the 3rd quartile against statistical neighbours but continues to be above the national average of 94%. However our take up of 4 year olds alone is high at 98% whereas our 3 year old take up is 93%. Next performance data release is summer 2019.
Countywide take up of free early education and childcare; 2, 3, and 4 year olds
Quarter 1 - June 2018 performance
Reasons for variations in the take up of free-entitlement include varying levels of: employment, family based child-care, unfunded provision, out-of-county employment and childcare. A small drop of 2.6% has been experienced in January 2018 compared with the previous year but this may be due to a small drop in the number of children across the county in this age range.
Background
Research shows that attending good quality early education and care can improve a child's learning and development. It also helps equip children with the skills needed for when they go to school, supporting them to do well in the longer term.
Free entitlement to childcare is provided by the government for all 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds (subject to eligibility criteria). The Free Entitlement allows access to free, good quality, flexible early education and childcare through a pre-school,nursery or childminder that is registered to offer free places.
  • Universal free entitlement - For all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. Children can use up to 570 hours each year, or a maximum of 15 hours over 38 weeks.
  • Extended free entitlement (also known as 30 hours free childcare) is for eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds only. Children can use an additional 570 hours each year, or a maximum of 30 hours per week over 38 weeks (1140 hours in total). If the funding is spread over a longer period, the amount of hours taken per week would be reduced. Parents must apply online to the government to confirm their eligibility.
Your childcare provider shouldn't charge you as the entitlement is for a free place rather than a subsidy towards your fees.However, they can set their own rates for any additional time or services that you take. They should let you know in advance what you will be expected to pay.
Follow this link to find out more about free childcare, including types of childcare, searching for childcare providers and childcare for children with disabilities

What is Free Entitlement?

Free Entitlement (FE) is Government funding for free childcare for all eligible children regardless of their individual needs or their citizenship status. FE is up to 570 hours per year of flexible free childcare available to all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. Some 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for an additional 570 (up to1,140) hours per year, which we call Extended FE, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Free places are available at eligible childminders, pre-schools and day nurseries(along with some out of school clubs and holiday play schemes meeting extra criteria). These childcare providers are known as ‘settings’.

What are the benefits?

The work of childhood is play. Children naturally learn by playing, exploring their world, being creative and finding things out. The activities you do at home with your child are key to helping them develop.

In addition, research has shown that children who also attend a high quality childcare setting enhance their all-round development and are predicted better grades as they progress through school. The longer they attend (in months and years) the greater the advantage they have. Parents often say their children benefit by:

  • having fun, improving social skills and making new friends
  • experiencing new activities and learning new things
  • building their confidence and independence
  • encouraging their imagination and creativity
  • developing skills that help them with writing later on
  • learning to share, take turns and listen
  • being ready for school
FE hours also enable parents to:
  • start, go back to, or increase their hours at work
  • undertake training and gain qualifications
  • volunteer
  • spend time with younger siblings
  • continue with caring responsibilities
  • know that they are giving their child a good start to their education

A high quality setting provides a wide range of opportunities for your child to learn as they play”

for your information - this is the link to our FEleaflethttps://www.westsussex.gov.uk/media/7204/free_entitlement_leaflet.pdf


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