Grants to aid two-year-olds in education

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DISADVANTAGED children are set to get an early boost in life thanks to a government grant.

Noah’s Ark Nursery in Lynemouth is one of the places to benefit from free nursery education for two-year-olds.

It had originally been saved from closure thanks to efforts from the community and constituency MP Sir Alan Beith.

Now it and other establishments in the county are to benefit from £2.3m from the government to deliver 15 hours a week, free early years education for the poorest two-year-olds by 2014.

Sir Alan said this will mean more than 600 two-year-olds in Northumberland will benefit.

He said: “It is unfair that today, you can still predict how well people will do in school based on where someone is born.

“Education is the best way we can help children overcome disadvantaged backgrounds.

“It is clear from the evidence that children from poorer backgrounds often fall behind their wealthier classmates before they even set foot in school.

“That gap only gets bigger over time.

“We believe in a fair society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

“This news on how much money our area will get to make this ambition a reality is a welcome boost for hard-pressed families and will help to creating a fairer society.”