Posted: Friday 8th September 2017
Hertfordshire County Council’s County Hall ballroom became a real life ‘ball’ room for lots of children who enjoyed soft play and a chance to meet some real life role models.
This fun event was set up to celebrate the excellent quality and range of Early Year’s Education opportunities available in Hertfordshire and show case the benefits of pre-school education.
Children were able to meet inspirational professionals who were able to share their passion for their chosen careers and offer a glimpse of what it means to do their jobs.
In Hertfordshire, we have a wide range of great early education and childcare options. All three and four year olds are eligible for 15 hours free early education (570 hours per year).
This can be used with a school, childminder, day nursery, or pre-school. In some cases, three and four -year olds are eligible for an extra 15 hours of childcare (570 hours a year) taking them to 30 hours a week ¬- this launched on 1 September 2017 nationwide.
Some two year olds can also get 15 hours free early education, depending on circumstances. Parents can check if they are eligible for any of the free early education and childcare options at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/everypopportunity
Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Hertfordshire is a great place to raise a family and we want every child to have the best start in life. Early education is the best way to help their development and ensure they do well in school. It is also a great way for children to socialise with people outside of their family in a safe environment.”
In Hertfordshire, the take up of free early education for three and four year olds is currently 93% and the take up for two year olds is 77%.
A recent survey of parents who did not take up free childcare showed that some preferred to look after their child themselves or to ask friends and family to help out with child care. In some cases, parents did not intend to go back to work or study.
While these are all valid reasons for not taking up free early education , we want every parent to be aware of the benefits. This opportunity not only helps them to get back into the workplace but improves their child’s development.
At the event, children were able to interact with fire and rescue personnel, a police officer, a scientist, a nurse and highway engineers.
They were able to try their hand at a science experiment, climb into a fire engine and police car and ask questions. The event sparked their curiosity about the world of opportunity that awaits them when they grow up.
Parents in Hertfordshire can find out more at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/everyopportunity