Harrow is to receive free places for three-year-olds following the Government's announcement last Thursday.

Harrow is estimated to receive over 600 places by Spring 2001, with it's first 30 places to be allocated this summer. Education Secretary David Blunkett announced the Government's plans to allocate 83,000 free pre-school learning places for three-year-olds throughout the country by March 2001.

The figure itself is almost double that of last year. A sum of £100 million has been set aside to achieve this, at least half of which will be assigned to the voluntary sector. The action is an essential move towards the Government's commitment to doubling the percentage of three-year-olds in free nursery places in England. David Blunkett said of the action 'Pre-schools and playgroups are playing a full and active part in developing early years education. We recognise the challenges faced by some groups and are working with the Pre-school Learning Alliance to help meet them.'

Funds of £250,000 have also been set aside to assist new initiatives and partnerships which aim to improve standards of early education. Such partnerships will focus upon the educational, physical and emotional needs of pre-school children and enable parents to have a greater choice on early years settings for their children.