Early Years Education Stretched Offer
The Department for Education’s (DfE) Code of Practice requires local authorities to have an ongoing role to ask parents how they would like to access their free early years education entitlement flexibly. The Local Authority also needs to work with early years education providers to offer provision that matches parents’ changing needs as much as possible. In 'Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare', published in January 2009, the Government set out plans to increase flexibility by making it possible for parents to "stretch" their free provision, by having the same number of hours across more weeks of the year. Currently parents can access their child’s entitlement over 38 weeks per year and this 38 week delivery will remain the minimum entitlement. However, giving parents the opportunity to access the free entitlement in a more "stretched” way could enable them to budget for additional hours and balance work or other commitments consistently across the year. The Government expects local authorities to investigate parental demand for a "stretched” offer in preparation for September 2012 when it will be offered to families who want it.
Hampshire County Council is currently running a pilot with a small number of childcare settings in Basingstoke, Gosport and the New Forest and aims to roll it out to all areas by September 2012. For further information please read the briefing document below.
Early Years Stretched Offer - Briefing Sheet
Early Years Stretched Offer - Provider Briefings
Providers can use the following leaflet to give to parents/ carers for their information about the offer.
Early Years Stretched Offer - Parent 1
Stretched Offer FAQs
Ready Reckoner Hours and Weeks
EYE Eligibility 2, 3, 4 year olds. Stretched and standard.