Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
36 rural councils have been named that will share £1 million funding to help design and plan up to 10,000 homes.
A large proportion of these homes will be affordable for local people and help them stay where they want to live.
It's the first time that rural councils have received dedicated funding to help design and plan new development that will support the local needs of rural communities.
The councils were selected through a planning and design competition and those with the best ideas for rural towns and villages will share the funding for expert advice to build homes. Successful councils will develop masterplans for new neighbourhoods and existing areas of towns, making the most of current building.
Joint funding provided by Communities and Local Government and Defra will provide expert assistance and training on masterplanning and urban design.
Projects include £70,000 to develop a masterplan for 1000 homes, a school, businesses and recreation space in North Northallerton and £30,000 to prepare a masterplan to redevelop the historic Bolton Copperworks site near the village of Froghall, and kickstart the regeneration of the Churnet Valley.
Also, £50,000 for masterplanning expertise to redevelop the Churchfields Estate west of Salisbury, providing 1,100 homes, a neighbourhood centre, a primary school, open space and land for businesses. Around 40 per cent of the homes will be affordable.
Housing Minister John Healey said: "We know a lack of affordable homes for local people is acute in rural communities. People have to be able to stay in the countryside for rural areas to prosper."
"Local authorities should make the most of the expertise on offer to design and plan for affordable homes for local people that are built to a high standard, and are linked to new opportunities for jobs so rural towns and villages can thrive."
Communities and Local Government
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