Children and parents celebrated as a new nursery opened in Aboyne for all children aged three and four needing a funded pre-school place.
The nursery is an off-site expansion of the existing nursery at Aboyne Primary School, which was struggling to cope with increasing numbers of three and four-year-olds seeking a place there.
Following a successful campaign, the new nursery opened last month, the result of several months’ hard work.
Local mum, Fiona Sawyer, of campaign group Educate Aboyne 3s, said: “We are grateful to the council for all that has been achieved over the past six months.
“In March, we were told that nothing could be done to provide extra early years places in Aboyne, as the council was complying with its statutory obligation to provide funded places for all three and four-year-olds by following its policy of allocating places within the Aboyne Children’s Services Network (CSN).
“Unfortunately, as this network extends as far as Braemar, this meant that the families of 21 three-year-olds in Aboyne had either to pay for a private nursery space, travel outwith the village or turn down the place offered to them.
“The council has listened and responded to the pleas of parents and the Aboyne community, through individual and collective representations with the help of Councillor Rosemary Bruce, and has resolved the problem by agreeing to the expansion of our local school nursery.”