The awards from the biggest of the Lottery distributors, the New Opportunities Fund, will enable the creation of nursery places for parents eager to access high quality childcare provision.
Jill Pitkeathley, chair of the New Opportunities Fund said: 'These grants are paving the way for the creation of new childcare places by investing in much needed buildings. The grants demonstrate the Fund's continuing commitment to backing community-led, quality nursery provision that directly benefits children and their families.'
Catherine Ashton, minister for sure start, early years and childcare, said: 'Neighbourhood nurseries are making a real difference to the lives of parents and children, by making high quality, affordable childcare places available for those who need them most. I welcome these new capital grants announced today which are complementing government investment'.
Among the 134 communities benefiting from today's funding awards for increased nursery provision are:
GROOVY SOUNDS ABOUND FOR KEYNSHAM KIDS
An award of £308,620 is music to the ears of Groovy Monsters Ltd who plan to create the Groovy Monsters Centre a purpose-built nursery complete with a music studio available for out of school hours activities for children up to the age of 14. The Fund is financing 70 nursery places in this innovative new nursery that will feature an unusual octagonal design, a sensory room, community room and an outdoor play area located in the central courtyard.
'We are thrilled to receive funding for what will be an exciting new addition to local childcare provision,' said Lynne Gr egory of Groovy Monsters. 'Keynsham desperately needs daycare places to enable parents to explore work and training opportunities. By incorporating a music studio into the building we hope to provide a unique, secure and caring educational environment where children can express themselves.'
STOCKWELL NURSERY TAKES CENTRE STAGE
The Surrey Hall Theatre in Stockwell is undergoing a massive transformation into a neighbourhood nursery. A grant of £134,107 to Magic Roundabout Nurseries Ltd is financing 72 nursery places in what promises to be an amazing addition to existing local childcare provision. The Magic Roundabout Nursery will offer 186 nursery places, 32 over 5's places, a parents internet room, training facilities and a variety of other community services. This innovative building project will also feature an extensive outdoor play area and internal windows placed at different heights so that the children can see what is happening in other rooms enhancing the light and friendly atmosphere.
'We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Fund,' said Nursery Manager, Saima Nijabat. 'Offering local parents accessible, high quality childcare is a priority. When the theatre became available, the potential was obvious if not a little challenging. This building is unique, not just in size but also in appearance. It is completely child orientated and we look forward to opening our doors to the children of Stockwell.'
The New Opportunities Fund's Building Neighbourhood Nurseries programme will provide up to £100 million for development and capital costs. The programme complements the DfES Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative, which is providing £203 million over three years to deliver pioneering, integrated childcare solutions for children and families living in England's most disadvantaged communities.
Awards across the English regions are:
19 capital grants totalling £2,137,660 have been awarded in London.
In the North West, 23 capital grants totalling £3,281,581 have been awarded.
In the North East, nine capital grants totalling £508,923 have been awarded.
In Yorkshire & Humberside, 18 capital grants totalling £2,598,798 have been awarded.
In the East, 11 capital grants totalling £1,188,799 have been awarded.
In the South West, seven capital grants totalling £846,666 have been awarded.
In the South East, 14 capital grants totalling £2,559,065 have been awarded.
In the West Midlands 21 capital grants totalling £2,534,920 have been awarded.
In the East Midlands 12 capital grants totalling £1,211,290 have been awarded.
The New Opportunities Fund is the biggest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, providing Lottery funding for health, education and environment projects across the UK, with a particular focus on improving quality of life, particularly in disadvantaged communities. To date the New Opportunities Fund has committed over £2bn in funding to schemes across the UK.
The Fund has allocated £100m to this programme, helping close the gap in pre-school childcare provision between affluent and disadvantaged areas. The programme aims to help more parents return to work or training, by providing money for costs such as the purchase or refurbishment of buildings and equipment. Today's grants bring the total funding awarded to just over £44.3m.
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has made available £203m in 2001-2004 through the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative (NNI), the largest ever single investment to create new childcare places. The funding will help to create 45,000 high quality, affordable childcare places for children and families living in England's most disadvantaged communities (20% most disadvantaged wards as shown on the Department for Local Government, Transport and Regions' Index of Multiple Deprivation) and equivalent pockets of disadvantage. Funding is being channelled through local Early Years Developme nt and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCPs).
The fund's programme will provide grants for capital expenditure, such as new buildings, refurbishment and equipment. Only projects which have been awarded revenue funding under the Neighbourhood Nursery Initiative and endorsed by their local Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership will be eligible to apply for a grant from the Fund.
The New Opportunities Fund distributes National Lottery money to health, education and environment projects across the UK. We intend to support sustainable projects that will improve the quality of life of people throughout the UK; address the needs of those who are most disadvantaged in society; encourage community participation; complement relevant local and national strategies and programmes. Funding for programmes is divided between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on the basis of population weighted to reflect levels of deprivation.
THE FUND'S OUT OF SCHOOL HOURS ACTIVITIES INITIATIVES ACROSS THE UK
Out of school hours childcare ??? £220m
Launched March 1999
£220 million is available to create new childcare places for 865,000 children across the UK by 2003. The programme complements the Government's National Childcare Strategy, and the equivalent strategies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A further £98.5million is available for childcare projects UK- wide to extend the current programme, grants will be offered for 2 and 3 years in areas of particular disadvantage.
Building neighbourhood nurseries - £100m
This programme was launched in July 2001 and is available in England to support the construction and expansion of nurseries in deprived areas. The programme is closed for applications
Out of school hours learning ??? £205m
Launched April 1999
Is available to create and develop regular out of school hours learning activities involving half of all secondary and special schools and a quarter of all primary schools aroun d the school day, weekends and in the holidays. £25 million has been specifically dedicated to creating new summer school places for 250,000 pupils. The Fund gives priority to projects which address the needs of the most disadvantaged pupils. The programme is closed for applications
School sports coordinators activities programme - £25.5m
An additional £25.5 million has been identified to fund out of school hours sports UK-wide by 2004. This programme is an extension of the fund's out of school hours learning programme and complements Sport England's School Sports Coordinators programme
In England the focus will be on providing revenue funding for School Sport Co-ordinators (SSCo) to deliver a planned programme of out of school hours sporting activities. Projects eligible for funding will be led by School Sport Co-ordinator partnerships funded by Sport England.