KIRKLEES Council’s cabinet members have given the go-ahead for a £5.1m project to help parents back into work.
They’ve agreed to bring forward funding free nursery school places for toddlers most in need.
Eligible two-year-olds will get up to 15 hours of free childcare a week.
It will run alongside the council’s Ready to Work trial which aims to offer funding for up to 25 hours of childcare for parents on training programmes.
Clr Peter O’Neill, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The aim of the scheme is to give disadvantaged children childcare which will encourage parents back into work or training.”
The Government has given Kirklees money to fund pre-school places two-year-olds whose parents are on benefits or if the children are in care or disabled.
Funding will also be made available if the child would get free school meals as a result of their parent’s low income.
Around 20% of Kirklees two-year-olds – some 1,118 children – will be able to access 15 hours of free pre-school education from April.
By September 2014 Kirklees Council hopes that will have increased to 40% – a further 1,782 children.
The £5.1m of funding includes: £3,091,715 Government funding to cover pre-school places for eligible two-year-olds at £4.85 per hour, paid to the providers.
A further £1,213,724 will pay for a Trajectory Building Fund to ensure there is capacity in the local childcare system to handle increased demand by September and £807,286 capital money to help to meet capacity issues.
Kirklees Council says it will help secure 350 full time jobs by 2014.