Additional childcare hours give parents’ greater flexibility

The chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee saw first-hand how the expansion of the 1140 fully funded additional childcare hours are working at Banchory Nursery.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 12:00 am
Denise Lorimer, Jacqui O’Donovan, Cllr Gillian Owen (top), Jackie Fernandez and Paul Whalley with the nursery children.
Denise Lorimer, Jacqui O’Donovan, Cllr Gillian Owen (top), Jackie Fernandez and Paul Whalley with the nursery children.

Cllr Gillian Owen was given an overview of a refurbishment of the nursery during their visit.

The upgrade has made the nursery building flow better for the children and staff. New flooring and lighting have been added, the toilets have been upgraded to make them child friendly, and a large central area has been built to allow meals to be served in a welcoming space throughout the extended day. Windows with views of the garden have also been added. The garden has been extended to double its previous length as part of the refurbishment.

The nursery is among those in Aberdeenshire that is offering the Scottish Government’s additional 1140 hours of free fully funded additional childcare.

Jacqui O’Donovan, Early Years Senior Practitioner at Banchory Nursery, said: “The additional 1140 hours allows parents that are juggling work and childcare to have the flexibility so they can get to work whilst safe in the knowledge their children are learning in a safe environment. A lot of parents have said they are really happy with the flexibility now on offer.”

Cllr Owen said: “I was delighted to see the progress that has been made when I visited Banchory Nursery. There is now so much more space for the children to enjoy and the staff to use when they are helping the little ones learn and grow. The combination of the refurbishment and the introduction of greater flexibility through the additional 1140 hours is bound to be a boost to children, parents and carers in Banchory.”

Cllr Bruce added: “We are committed to upgrading our nurseries, so they offer the best possible space for children to thrive and learn. It is great to visit nurseries that have been improved so members of the committee can see the impact of these enhancements.”

For more information about the early learning and childcare expansion, visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/childcare-and-early-learning/childcare-extended-hours/