THREE and four-year-olds from low income families are to benefit from cash to prevent them falling behind.
The Government has announced it will be making £50million available through the new Early Years Pupil Premium, worth more than £300 per child, in a bid to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers.
Almost £3million will be heading to the North East to benefit more than 10,000 children.
Sunderland is set to get £332,588 to help 1,155 youngsters, Durham, £553,151 for 1,920 pupils, and South Tyneside, £165,180 for 573 children.
According to research, children from low-income families are estimated to already be 19 months behind more advantaged peers when they start school and high quality early education can close this gap and improve results later on in life.
Nurseries will have freedom to decide how to use The 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.
Announcing the money Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Every child from the North East deserves the chance to fulfil their potential, and this extra funding is a boost to help our youngest children get on in life and succeed.
“Boys and girls from poorer families have often already fallen nineteen months behind their better off classmates by the time they hang up their coat on the first day of school. Increasing their chances of success has got to be a top priority.”