Nursery slots up for grabs

Aberdeenshire Council has changed the way in which parents can apply for nursery places in council-run nurseries and approved partner playgroups and nurseries, to encourage greater parent choice and in an effort to improve the application process.

The council provides a free pre-school education place for every child in Aberdeenshire within a council-run or approved playgroup or nursery, from the term after their third birthday.

Five free 2.5 hour pre-school education sessions are provided per week during term time and parents can now choose the council or partner nursery or approved playgroup that best suits their needs, and apply directly to that provider.

All of the council run nurseries and approved partner playgroups and nurseries are inspected by HM Inspectorate of Education and the Care Inspectorate, as well as being quality assured by the council.

For children who will be three by August 31, 2012 places are available from August this year. Children who will be three by December 31, 2012 can access places from January 2013, and children who will be three by March 28, 2013 can access a nursery place from April 2013.

parents can submit their application to the council or partner providers at any point in the year so long as it’s before the term deadlines.

The deadline for the August 2012 and January 2013 access dates is March 2, 2012 and for access in April 2013 the deadline is October 1, 2012.

Application packs and a full list of establishments are available from the council’s website at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/parentscarers/pre-school

Parents can also pick up details from the providers and from their local library, where they can also access IT facilities.