Disadvantaged children in Corby will be given more help when four new early-years facilities are opened next year.
The Pen Green Children’s Centre will be running the four new facilities after Northamptonshire County Council won a £10,000 Government grant to help set them up.
Corby has been chosen to receive the funding because the town currently has a lack of nurseries rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah said: “Every child in Northamptonshire should be able to fulfil their potential, whatever their background.
“Before they have even worn their school uniform for the first time, a child’s life chances are being decided. Early education not only sets a child off on the right foot at school, but has effects that last right into the workplace.
The money is part of the Department for Education’s ‘Improving Early Years Outcomes in Disadvantaged Areas Project’, which sees £10,000 allocated to deprived areas where there is a clear demand for additional outstanding early years places.
Successful bids have to demonstrate they have the ability to develop new provision and a viable and sustainable business model for setting up, opening and running the new setting.
Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Heather Smith said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to secure this funding in partnership with the Pen Green Centre to support the development of early years nursery provision in four new settings in Corby.”
Currently, three and four-year-olds are entitled to receive 15 hours free childcare per week in settings that include schools.
A spokesperson for Pen Green said: “Northamptonshire County Council data indicates that not all families that are eligible for funding are taking up their free entitlement.
“Through this project we can set up high quality education and care for children in Corby. We want to develop innovative ways of working in areas of disadvantage to ensure those eligible for funded places are able to access it.
“We want the most vulnerable children living in families at risk of exclusion to get the best possible provision. In collaboration with the Local Authority and partner agencies we will make this happen in Corby.”