Parents are to be canvassed on how they want to see £7m spent on nursery education and support.

"We want to consult as many parents as possible," said Frances White, who, with fellow Redcar and Cleveland Council development manager Veronica Harnett will be homing in on mums and dads.

"We'll be dropping in on playgroups, parents and toddler groups, going into school, talking to mums at the school gates, getting their views at the supermarket.

"What we don't want to do is make their minds up for them," she said.

The money, which will be phased over ten years, comes from the Government's Sure Start programme aimed at giving under fours the best start in life.

It is being split into two programmes; one covering the Dormanstown and Coatham wards, the second covering the Kirkleatham and Newcomen area.

Redcar's equivalent to Bob the Builder, Sure Start Sam - motto, 'I'll Fix It For Redcar' - was on hand, with the Sure Start playbus, to launch the scheme, yesterday.