Parents of disadvantaged children will be able to receive free education from next year after 12 priority areas were identified in Norfolk in an expansion of help for two-year-olds.

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The 12 priority areas

1 - Catton, Fiddlewood and Mile Cross Children’s Centre (CC) - Norwich.

2 - Greenacre CC - Great Yarmouth.

3 - Signpost CC, Woottons, Gaywood North Bank - King’s Lynn.

4 - Seagulls, Gorleston and Hopton CC - Great Yarmouth.

5 - North City CC - Norwich.

6 - Bowthorpe, West Earlham and Costessey Area CC - Norwich.

7 - Earlham Early Years CC - Norwich.

8 - Thetford, Thetford Drake CC - Thetford.

9 - East City and Framingham Earl Areas CC - Norwich.

10 - Thorpe Hamlet and Heartsease, Dussindale CC - Norwich.

11 - Vancouver CC and Springwood - King’s Lynn.

12 - City Eaton CC - Norwich.

From September 2013 the government’s Fairness Premium policy will ensure two-year-olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds will receive free pre-school education.

Norfolk County Council education bosses admitted in September they were facing a “considerable challenge” to ensure enough nurseries and childcare places and there were particular concerns there would not be enough providers in parts of Norwich and Great Yarmouth where high numbers of eligible two-year-olds live.

While government cash is available to fund the expansion of nurseries and children’s centres, education officers face a challenge in making sure places are available.

Now council leaders are set to affirm where the priority areas will be - seven in Norwich, two in Great Yarmouth area, two in King’s Lynn and one in Thetford.

The new government requirements mean the county council needs to provide free education for 2,000 two-year-olds by September 2013 and a further 2,700 by September 2014.

At the moment, all three and four-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours of free early education per week.

There are currently 700 children accessing a two-year-old place in Norfolk but not all take up the full 15-hour entitlement. This means the county council need to increase this by a further 1,300 children to reach its target of 2,000 places.

The government has confirmed that money to fund the free early education will be ring-fenced within the Dedicated Schools Grant from April 2013, so nurseries, pre-schools and childminders can be confident that, if they expand to offer these new places, the funding will be available.

The 12 priority areas have been listed in a report for the county council’s Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel, which will meet on Thursday to approve the priority areas.

The areas have been ranked in terms of priority using “selected criteria” - such as the number of out-of-work households and early education attainment figures such as language and literacy - so that resources can be focused on the areas of greatest need.

The children’s centre (CC) ranked as the highest priority in the county is the north Norwich area of Catton, Fiddlewood and Mile Cross, ahead of Great Yarmouth’s Greenacre CC.

Norwich South MP, Simon Wright, played a key part in the rolling out of the scheme as a parliamentary aide to Liberal Democrat minister for children and families Sarah Teather, who has since been replaced by fellow Lib Dem David Laws.

The sixth-ranked Bowthorpe, West Earlham and Costessey Area CC is part of Mr Wright’s constituency, as is the seventh-ranked Earlham Early Years CC, ninth-ranked East City and Framingham Earl Areas CC and 12th-ranked City and Eaton CC.

Mr Wright, who remains a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the children and families minister, said: “The early years of a child’s life help shape the development of a child’s brain and are, ultimately, a big indicator of future success.

“Norwich has a very diverse community so there are some very well off households in the city which are very close to some of the most deprived wards in the whole country.

“So we do have that diversity and the wage gap between some of the more deprived areas with the better off areas, and the county council focusing on the more deprived areas can help that to change.”

In the most recent health statistics, released in July, Great Yarmouth was shown to have deprivation levels higher than the national average and about 4,600 children living in poverty.

So Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis was equally pleased to see that two children’s centres in his constituency are to benefit.

He said: “Experts across the piste say that early intervention can make a huge difference to a child’s life so it is fantastic that areas with families from more deprived backgrounds are being focused on.

“The Greenacre area, where we also have the academy (Great Yarmouth Primary Academy), is seeing a really big push this year and that will mean long-term benefits because children know they have encouragement and support to better themselves.

“I think children in Great Yarmouth have a really good opportunity now because the area has an exciting future with all the investment in the energy sector in the area, which should bring better-paid jobs.

“So early intervention could lead to some really good opportunities in the future for them.”

david.freezer@archant.co.uk

23 comments

  • Everyone knows why GY is imploding, it is not just lack of jobs it is a massive increase in the number of people moving into the town only to depend on benefits. I am sad for the loss of what was once a decent busy town but has become a dumping ground. Nurseries for two year olds wont help one iota-compulsory classes for all those who are pregnant and on benefits might. If the council can't guarantee jobs the should put a brake on the lettings sector, refusing persmission for change of use etc

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Call me old fashioned but I thought it was the parents responsibilty to educate their children and once a child reached 5 they could work along with schools to continue what they had begun.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Is that list a crafty way of telling us "don`t live round there"? London in Norfolk paints an apposite picture. Sadly. Many people in these parts are born senile then mature into puerility, prior to the expiry of their free pass to "life".

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, November 4, 2012

  • In actual fact I have just re- read the opening paragraph of this article and the author seems to be in agreement with me that it is the parents who are in need of education. I quote - "Parents of disadvantaged children will be able to receive free education from next year after 12 priority areas were identified in Norfolk -"

    Report this comment

    BG

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Perhaps BBC Newsnight could invite Lord McAlpine or Derek Laud for a comment?

    Report this comment

    Carborundum

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I agree totally with loco. I have lived in the Borough for over 30 years and have seen it steadily decline, fueled by an influx of people, with a myriad of social problems who derive their sole or main income from benefits. The money shouldn`t be spent on children; but on educating their parents on how to live a more industrious life. The minority of us who pay these layabouts to stay at home all day are getting rather tired of our politicians always putting them first and us last.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • I endorse everything that loco and BG say. I would also like to add that the town's problems have been compounded by organisations like Bernard Matthews who recruited and dumped and by the council which has failed to put a brake on the guest houses being turned into permanent multiple occupation. I still suspect that some collusion between agencies is going on which is resulting in relocating those on housing benefits from expensived urban districts or from holding areas to cheap Yarmouth and await some honesty from councillors on this matter because Yarmouth is being destroyed by having too many people who are unlikely to ever find work unless the economy of China collapses and the UK needs legions of unskilled labour. Nurseries for two year olds is ****ing in the wind.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • On the one hand this government keeps stressing the need for better parenting and better family life. Yet they are offering free education for parents of 2 year old. Who presumably will be brought up in a creche, by strangers paid for the taxpayer no doubt. People who have kids should look after them first and foremost

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Same old thing, lets help the dole gang,I have 18 mth twins earn £400 pw pay £100 to travel to work each week,my partner does not work as child care cost more than she earns, what help we will get sweet FA. Best I go on dole get council house and watch Jeremy Kyle with a can of stella, now entitled to help !!!!

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Brandon Lewis should have to live for a year in a flat on Blackfriars, St Peters Road, or Middlemarket or Maygrove and shop only n the town and find himself a job in the town. Then he might appreciate what the people who have lived in GY and the wider borough of Great Yarmouth for a long time are saying.Yarmouth is become like a tree with a rotten heart, anything alive and thriving is on the extremities of the borough but the rotten centre threatens the whole.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Quite, Fester. I see on the BBC News website that the leader of Blackpool council is expressing the same sentiments about Blackpool as some posters have about GY-makes interesting reading. He more or less says that Blackpool needs a No Vacancies sign because it cannot take any more of the unemployed disfunctional people who descend on the town. Sounds a familiar problem.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Loco, BG and Fester I agree wholeheartedly. Our town is destroyed. Those of us who have lived in the area for decades have had a decent safe town stolen from them, seen our property devalued and lost a place to shop.What about our kids who now grown up won't admit to having lived any closer to GY than Norwich, those who have had to put off having families because they can't afford it and as Fester says, the kids at school who cope with the problems of living in or close to a dumping ground but don't get extra allocations of funding for their schools. What about the GY kids who are not brains of Britain but willing to work who can't find jobs because those that are available seem stitched up by agencies who choose to employ non locals?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Same old thing, lets help the dole gang,I have 18 mth twins earn £400 pw pay £100 to travel to work each week,my partner does not work as child care cost more than she earns, what help we will get sweet FA. Best I go on dole get council house and watch Jeremy Kyle with a can of stella, now entitled to help !!!!

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Perhaps BBC Newsnight could invite Lord McAlpine or Derek Laud for a comment?

    Report this comment

    Carborundum

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I thought the government were supporting hard working families? I work 7 days a week every week to provide for my family, the only benefit I get is the childs benefit and that only because it's a universal benefit. I've seen truants get free laptops, delinquents get holidays, special measures get free horse riding and my daughter who works hard, is top of her class for reading and has a heart of gold what does she get? Sweet fanny adams that's what. Makes my blood boil it does. Why the hell am I working? London in Norfolk oh my brother I hear your cry...

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Same old thing, lets help the dole gang,I have 18 mth twins earn £400 pw pay £100 to travel to work each week,my partner does not work as child care cost more than she earns, what help we will get sweet FA. Best I go on dole get council house and watch Jeremy Kyle with a can of stella, now entitled to help !!!!

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Call me old fashioned but I thought it was the parents responsibilty to educate their children and once a child reached 5 they could work along with schools to continue what they had begun.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Quite, Fester. I see on the BBC News website that the leader of Blackpool council is expressing the same sentiments about Blackpool as some posters have about GY-makes interesting reading. He more or less says that Blackpool needs a No Vacancies sign because it cannot take any more of the unemployed disfunctional people who descend on the town. Sounds a familiar problem.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • So Mr Lewis is now stating that Yarmouth has an exciting future, is he not the one who has been helping with the demise of this town by not helping people such as coastguards, shop's that are shutting, industry that is folding up. He need's to take off the rose tinted glasses and have a good look around this town that I myself had great pride in calling GREAT Yarmouth but no more. I was born here, lived here all my life and now think it is nothing but a dropping off point for a lot of lay-about who just come here for the free benefits. Get your act together o wonderful MP. THIS TOWN NEED'S MORE POSITIVE ACTION FROM YOU AND YOUR FOLLOWER'S.

    Report this comment

    loco

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • jenny jane, spot on. two year old's should be at home having fun and plenty of afternoon snooze, plenty of time for learning at school at around the age of 5.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • What all our elected "Representatives" should do and actually do are as far apart as Woodlands School in Hutton and Woodlands School Bradwell Daisy.

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • How about stopping the thickos breeding, most of the two year olds will have parents of a combined age of 30 and an IQ to match, why are the parents not looking after them if they are from disadvantaged backgrounds

    Report this comment

    London in Norfolk

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Shows where Lewis's priorities lie, and it is not with the hard workers of Yarmouth who pay his salary and house swapping expenses !. What have his cohorts at the conservative club Gt Yar got to say about this ?. We normally have at least one commentator. Time for you to resign Lewis and let someone else have a go !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, November 5, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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