Free childcare at Langwith

LANGWITH two year olds are to be offered free education and childcare places as part of a pilot project in Derbyshire.

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

It is hoped 150 children - including youngsters from the village - will benefit from up to nine hours of free education and childcare a week.

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

Coun 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 includes children in our care and traveller families, will improve language and communication skills and their chances of doing well in the future.”

Councillor Lewis added: “We recognise that the involvement of parents contributes greatly to a child’s development so we will also be running training courses for parents to be able to support their children’s learning.”

The pilot project will be rolled out in Derbyshire during 2011/12 with other local authorities following suit by 2013.