HAMPSHIRE County Council says it is well under way to meeting the government’s targets to provide 15 hours a week of free nursery places for disadvantaged two-year-olds.
By 2014, it is anticipated that around 4,000 additional places will be needed across the county to meet the demand from eligible two-year-olds.
Children qualifying for the places include those who are in the care of the local authority, as well as those whose parents are on low incomes and those who are unemployed or in receipt of benefits.
Councillor Peter Edgar, executive member for education, said: ‘Evidence shows that good early years education from a young age can help to boost child development and lead to better achievement in school.
‘That is why we are offering families, who might not otherwise be able to access childcare, a chance to get a good start for their children.
‘All two-year-old places will be offered in provision that is well equipped to meet the need for young children.’