Childcare windfall worth £600,000 for the region

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A £600k grant from the government will be used to create more childcare places in the district.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet met on Monday to discuss how the £590,559 from the Education and Skills Funding Agency would be spent.

Projects to expand Abacus Nursery in Wakefield, Safe and Sound Day Nursery in Featherstone and Darrington Academy in Pontefract have been approved alongside a conversion at Hillside Childcare in Altofts and Normanton.

A report to Monday’s meeting said: “The capital grant will support the supply of quality childcare places in areas of greatest demand to support working parents.”

The childcare facilities bid for the money last August, as part the government’s initiative to offer 30 hours of free childcare to working parents from September 2017. They were initially told they were unsuccessful.

But in March, the council was told all four had been approved as £50m worth of additional funding had been secured nationwide.

The report said: “This will have a significant positive impact on families, helping to give children the best start in life, and making childcare more affordable for parents.”

The four projects must be completed by the end of November.