MORE than £3 million is being made available for free child care for two-year-olds in Kirklees.
Figures show that 1,118 toddlers will get funding for 15 free hours a week at local childminders and nurseries.
In Calderdale 524 children will benefit as £1.4million has now been made available.
The Government says the funding is being provided to families who are not able to afford childcare costs at a flat rate per child per hour.
And future funding is on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.
It says the money will mean nurseries can keep the best staff and give more children access to the high-quality early education to those whose parents may not be able to normally afford childcare.
Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss has called for funding to be passed on in full to providers.
The Education and Childcare Minister, said: “I am calling on schools, nurseries and childminders to step up to the challenge so that all two-year-olds from low-income families are in good or outstanding settings.
“We know that only high-quality early education has a long-term impact on school readiness.
“Therefore, I am urging local authorities to pass on all the funding for places to the front line, so that providers are more able to retain and recruit the top quality staff that our youngsters deserve.”
The Government’s aspiration is to make places available for two-year-olds in an early education setting rated good and outstanding.
Every local authority will receive an average of £5.09 per child per hour for statutory places, which they are expected to pass on in full to schools, nurseries and childminders.
Ofsted will publicise online how many good and outstanding providers there are and parents will know whether the full allocations have been passed on to providers as the Government will publish details of local authority spend on its website.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “From 2013, 130,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds will be eligible for 15-hours of free childcare a week with double that number set to benefit the following year.
“Today we’re letting local authorities know the money they will receive to offer these free places and make a huge difference to hard-pressed families.
“Good quality childcare gives children a head start even before they walk through the school gates for the first time.
“No child should miss out on this just because of the circumstances of their birth.”
The Government has also announced capital funding allocations to councils totalling £100 million to help build, extend or improve nurseries and early education facilities.
In Kirklees the building allocation is £1.2million and in Calderdale it is £569,261.