Liberal Democrats LogoNurseries, childminders and other early years providers in Hertfordshire are set for a £700,000 cash injection to help around 2,500 three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.

Children from low income families have often fallen behind more well off classmates before they even start school.​

But from April 2015, the Early Years Pupil Premium – which has been backed by groups like Barnados, 4Children and the Child Poverty Action Group – ​will mean extra money for the 2,500 disadvantaged children to make sure every child gets a fair start.

County and Borough Councillor Robin Parker, Leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats said: “By investing £700,000 across Hertfordshire to help the most disadvantaged three and four-year-olds, Liberal Democrats are ensuring that children are getting the best possible start in life.

“All the evidence shows that helping children as early as possible is key to making sure they do not fall behind. That is why this announcement is fantastic news for children.

“This is all part of creating a fairer society and opportunity for everyone.

Nurseries and schools will be free to choose how to spend the money, which is part of a £50 million Government pot.

It comes on top of Lib Dem-led changes in Government to help families, which include shared parental leave, tax free childcare, Free School Meals, and a pupil premium for school age children.

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws MP added: “Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, whatever their background.

“Liberal Democrats in government have already extended free early years education for all children in Hertfordshire.

“Now this cash boost will mean extra support for those children who need it most.”