Local toddlers face missing out on free nursery places in September, as there are not enough spaces available.

From September, with the expansion of the Free Early Education Entitlement, 5,300 two-year-olds Essex-wide will be entitled to 15 hours free childcare a week.

In the Maldon district, 102 two-year-olds will be eligible for the scheme, but there are only enough spaces for 70 of them.

Heybridge and Southminster both fall short by nine places each.

Additionally Althorne, Great Totham, Maldon, Mayland and Tollesbury lack spaces for all children eligible for funded places.

Kim Callaghan, 38, manager at Daisy Chain Day Care Nursery, Wantz Road, Maldon said there is massive pressure on nursery places.

Her nursery has 12 spaces for two-year-olds and from September will have an extra room for another 12 during the mornings.

She said: “We are lucky but I understand how difficult it will be for the nurseries that don’t have space.”