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Minister's London visit marks beginning of Sure Start Week

15/09/2009 Kelly
Those teaching in London primary schools may be interested to hear parents of young children living on a low income will soon be entitled to extra support.

From this week, free childcare will be offered to the poorest two-year-olds. Combined with entitlements already offered to parents of three and four-year-olds, this amounts to up to 1,500 hours of government-funded care for pre-school children.

Speaking ahead of the launch of Sure Start Children's Centres Week on a visit to the Morningside Centre in Hackney, east London, Mr Balls said it was a time to "reflect" on achievements of past years.

"We really have moved on leaps and bounds in our provision of childcare and early years support for the under fives in the last ten years," he added.

The news follows a government announcement granting £18 million of funding to provide under-threes with new books.

Written by Theo Foulds

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