A Norwich pre-school has marked the official opening of its new £300,000 building, which is part of a £2m drive to boost the number of childcare places in the city.

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Ducketts Pre-School in Lakenham, has moved from its former home at East City and Framingham Earl Children’s Centre into its own building on the Edith Cavell Academy site, in Duckett Close.

The £300,000 home has been paid for by Norfolk County Council and provides space for up to 24 children per session.

Carla Nichols, pre-school manager, said: “We are delighted with the new building; it means that more children are able to enjoy free childcare, whilst giving their families the chance to access education, training and employment opportunities.

“The new building is spacious, adequately resourced and has a secure outside area, offering the children the opportunity to learn, develop and explore both the indoor and outdoor environment.”

The project is part of Norfolk County Council’s commitment to ensure there are enough early years places for two-year-olds who are eligible for free childcare.

The new building increases the capacity of Ducketts from 24 to 48 per day and includes outdoor play areas, a large playroom, kitchen and office.

It also means that the pre-school has been able to extend its opening hours, with morning sessions now available in addition to the afternoon sessions that were run from the children’s centre.

James Joyce, chairman of the council’s children’s services committee, said: “We are spending more than £2m on creating extra childcare places in the county, supporting families to access work and training whilst their children learn, play and develop their social and communication skills.”

• Do you have an schools story? Call education reporter Martin George on 01603 772468 or email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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