Early years pupils along the North Yorkshire coast are set to receive £1.6m in funding to help develop their speech and language skills, as well as providing some much-needed extracurricular activities.

Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), the aim of the scheme is to support early years youngsters within this region with their development and also to provide better access to extra-curricular activities that will help with this.

£800,000 of this funding will be allocated to running workshops which have been designed specifically for children in need of additional support with their reading, writing and language skills.

As well as these workshops, funds will also be ploughed into 40 new speech and language ‘champions’ who will be placed in nurseries and pre-schools in the area. Their role will be to identify what stage children are at and whether they need additional support to ensure they are ready for the leap to primary school.

Following on from this, 20 primary schools in the area will also receive support to help improve communication skills amongst their students.

Whilst £800,000 is dedicated to helping develop children’s speech and language skills, another £800,000 will be invested in extracurricular activities – including sports and arts – for over 3,500 young people between the ages of five and 18.

All funding that the region is set to receive is part of the government’s £72m Opportunity Area programme which was announced earlier his week, when education secretary Damian Hinds visited Coventry University Scarborough Campus.

Hinds stated: “The Opportunity Area programme is about making sure we create the right conditions to broaden the horizons of young people from disadvantaged areas and give them the best start in life.

“The funding announced today will help to support parents on the North Yorkshire Coast with their child’s early language development and also help young people access extra-curricular activities that build the resilience and character they need to fulfil their ambitions, whatever they may be.”

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