From September 2014, two-year-old children adopted from local authority care or who left care under a Special Guardianship (SG) Order or Child Arrangements (CA) Order (formally known as a Residence Order*), will be entitled to 570 hours a year of Government funded early education over no fewer than 38 weeks of the year (which equates to 15 hours per week). The Government is extending the entitlement to free early education to these children in recognition of the difficult start in life they have endured and the real benefit early exposure to high quality early education can have in improving their life chances. There is strong evidence to show that good quality early education at the age of two supports children’s development. If you are a parent of an eligible child and you would like to take up the offer of a free place, you should contact your local authority’s Family Information Service for information about eligibility and the process for securing a place. Information can also be found on the Government’s website GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/free-early-education
*From 22 April 2014, residence orders and contact orders are replaced by Child Arrangements Orders (s8 Children Act 1989). Child arrangements orders are orders making arrangements about the person with whom a child lives or has contact. Only Child Arrangement Orders relating to a child’s living arrangements immediately after they leave local authority care (looked after children) are relevant for the purpose of the 2 year old free entitlement.