Children in Kirklandneuk, Houston, Lochfield and Dargavel early learning and childcare centres say they love their new-build nurseries.

While visiting the nurseries, children told education convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, that they loved being able to play both indoors and outdoors thanks to each team planning the best layout to engage children and allow them to be creative and use their imagination.

The nurseries, which opened during 2020 and 2021, are part of a £14million investment to give Renfrewshire parents and carers more choice on high quality and flexible childcare at no extra cost.

Since August 2021, all eligible two, three and four-year-olds have been able to get 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare.

The increased hours mean that children can spend more time in nursery to support their overall learning and development, including improving their social skills and learn reading, writing and numeracy.

Councillor Paterson said it was good to see how children’s learning experiences have been enhanced by the purpose-built facilities.

“It’s vitally important that all children get the best start in life and attending nursery is a key part of that. Children get to make friends, practice their speech and communication skills with friends and staff, learn through play but also have fun.

“These purpose-built facilities mean that a child can move from one type of play to another all within the same space. They can choose whether they wish to play indoors or outdoors at any time. It helps boost their independence and confidence as they allow themselves to direct their learning.
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All four nurseries have a similar design, but each centre has set up play areas to suit the children who attend.

Jackie Rankin, Head of Centre for Dargavel ELC Centre, said: “We were so lucky that we were able to bring together a new team, many of whom it was their first permanent post. The staff team have been involved from the beginning in choosing exciting resources that allow children to explore, learn and be curious. Many of the children had never had the opportunity to play with peers due to the pandemic and the team have worked really hard to support all children in settling in their new environment.”

Jennifer Murray, Head Teacher for Houston ELC Class, said: “Opening our new setting at Houston created a lot of excitement for the children, staff and families. Our children benefit from a large open plan playroom providing stimulating learning opportunities to allow them to grow and develop their skills. Our outdoor space is extremely popular, with some children spending most of their day outside exploring and investigating.”

Marianne Reilly, Head of Centre for Kirklandneuk ELC Centre, said: “Setting up Kirklandneuk has been a rewarding and challenging experience and I am delighted with the progress that we have made in such a short period of time. The children are a true testament to how well we have done to create a rich and stimulating learning environment both indoors and outdoors. I am looking forward to the coming months and to the continuous improvements that we have planned.”

Julie MacDonald, Head of Centre for Lochfield ELC Centre, said: “We wanted to create an environment that connected to home, families and the local community, where children can grow and develop at their own pace, nurtured by knowledgeable and supportive adults. We created zones both indoors and outdoors and we wanted them to all naturally flow into one another providing high-quality. Our children have all settled and are thriving in our new nursery environment.”

To find your local nursery or childminder, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/nurseries.

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