Free childcare places for Cotmanhay two-year-olds

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Free education and childcare places will be offered to two year-olds in Cotmanhay as part of a pilot project.

Derbyshire County Council has been awarded almost £400,000 to improve language and communication skills and boost attainment.

It is hoped 150 children from the pilot areas of Creswell, Langwith and Cotmanhay will benefit from up to nine hours of free education and childcare a week.

The areas have been chosen as children there have lower-than-average attainment levels when they enter primary school.

Cllr Barry Lewis, the county council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “We focused on these areas as they are some of the county’s most deprived areas where almost 40 per cent of children under five live in households where the adults do not work.

“We hope this project, which also includes children in our care and traveller families, will improve their language and communication skills and in turn their chances of doing well in the future.”

The pilot project will be rolled out in Derbyshire during 2011 to 2012 with other local authorities following suit by 2013.