Cornwall has been awarded £342,734 to help disadvantaged three and four-year-olds.

The money, aimed at preventing children from low income families falling behind before they start schooll, has been welcomed by Andrew Wallis, the council’s lead member for children and young people.

Nurseries in Cornwall will have the freedom to decide how to use the money, part of the Government’s Early Years Pupil Premium, to help three and four year olds learn and develop, for example more qualified staff or specialists in activities like speech and language to give an extra focus on basic skills.

“This is good news for Cornwall” said Andrew Wallis. “Every child deserves the right to fulfil their potential and this funding will enable us to support three and four year olds by building on the support we already provide through helping eligible two year olds receive their free nursery education funding, until they then receive additional support at school”.

“Although the pupil premium amount is only likely to consist of a top up amount of 53 pence per hour, we are already committed to supporting vulnerable groups through our new integrated Early Years Strategy.

"This new initiative will, however, help us to identify the children who will benefit from targeted support in their early years setting and through membership of their local children centre. This will, in turn, support the work we are doing to improve standards in schools by enabling teachers to prepare children for the transition to reception class well in advance”.

For further information about early years nursery provision for two year olds and children centre membership please contact the Family Information Service on 0800 5878191.