ANGLESEY and Gwynedd will receive a multi million pound boost to help disadvantaged families.
The Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme will provide £2.3 million for new children’s centres and childcare facilities.
Deputy Minister for children and social services, Gwenda Thomas, said: “Supporting children in the early years is a priority for the Welsh Government and it is vitally important that we continue to prioritise the needs of the most disadvantaged and protect the most vulnerable against poverty and marginalisation.
“We are prioritising early years support because we know that is where we will make the most impact and we know we can make a real difference for children and families.
Flying Start will expand over the next few years and will target specific communities in towns such as Llangefni, where there are high concentrations of families living on benefit.
The move is part of a £74 million Wales-wide investment in families with children up to four years old.
It offers free part-time childcare, parenting support, intensive health visiting and early language development, working with primary and community healthcare.
18,000 children across the country have benefitted since the scheme was introduced six years ago.
The Welsh Government intends to double that number to 36,000 by 2015, investing £19 million to develop the infrastructure needed to deliver Flying Start in the new areas.
The investment will create jobs during the construction of new centres and improvements to existing projects, and will also create further positions in childcare and related disciplines.
The minister added: “Our efforts to prevent poverty start with targeting investment to give children the best possible start in life and early intervention to make sure that children have the opportunity to learn, develop and play.
“Pre-school years are crucial to a child’s development and it’s essential that we identify and deal with any potential issues that can arise during this time to prepare children for school and later life.”