Schools in RCT providing nursery education will receive the best part of half a million pounds extra this year thanks to a budget deal between the Welsh Government and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.
From April this year the Welsh Liberal Democrats' Pupil Deprivation Grant, which targets money at pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, has been extended to under 5s. The money is designed to help bridge the gap in attainment that has traditionally existed between those children on free school meals and those who are not.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell says
"It is ironic that this money starts to come into the budget just as RCT's Labour Council are, following a legal battle, cutting back on nursery education from full to part time.
"This money, more than £460,000 is in recognition of how important early years education is. We have long argued that if children are to achieve the best they are capable of then they need to get the best possible start.
"This money cannot be used to prop up full time nursery education, it is specifically to provide those children from less well off backgrounds with the extra help and support they need. However, it shows a marked difference in attitude to the importance of early years education between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Labour administration in RCT."