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3 September 2014, 16:09
More than 600 extra childcare places have been created in Norfolk, to give 1,000 more children access to early education.
Norfolk County Council has invested £1m in the scheme with the government adding another £1.7m.
As a result, 632 new childcare places have been created to give free education to hundreds of toddlers across the county.
Most of the places are already available in new and extended pre-schools and nurseries with others in development.
They've have been set up in targeted areas in Norfolk, that have a high number of two year olds. Norwich has 276 new spots, Great Yarmouth has 114 and Kings Lynn's got 48.
Alongside the new childcare on offer, the county council's also been working to encourage more parents to take advantage of support services. 2,200 two year olds are expected to access free childcare this month, compared to 1,332 last year.
James Joyce, Chairman of the Children's Service Committee at Norfolk County Council, said; "We know that supporting children's learning from the start of their lives gives them the best chance of achieving their potential.
"Attending a nursery, pre-school or childminder is fun for children and also helps them to socialise and develop their early communication, literacy and numeracy skills, getting them ready for school.
"It also frees up parents' time to support them to work, train, look after other children, or have a much needed break from the demands of parenting.
"By investing in extra places, we've also been able to encourage new businesses into the county, creating jobs in the childcare sector and boosting the local economy."