Nurs­ery hopes re­ceive boost

Por­ta­cabin op­er­a­tion on the radar

Stirling Observer - - PRIMARY ONES - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

Cal­lan­der Nurs­ery looks set to be in line for new premises un­der plans by Stirling Coun­cil to meet a na­tional ex­pan­sion of child­care.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is seek­ing to in­crease in en­ti­tle­ment to free early learn­ing and child­care from 600 hours to 1140 hours by 2020 for all three and four years olds and el­i­gi­ble two year olds.

A re­cent meet­ing of the coun­cil’s ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee heard that of­fi­cials were as­sess­ing what changes needed to be in place in or­der to meet the ex­pan­sion.

Early in­di­ca­tions were that the Stirling author­ity could be in line for an £8 mil­lion share from an ad­di­tional £400 mil­lion in cap­i­tal fund­ing ex­pected to be dis­trib­uted by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment over three years to­wards im­ple­ment­ing the changes.

It has al­ready been con­firmed that Stirling will re­ceive £580,000 of £30 mil­lion cap­i­tal fund­ing and £406,000 of £21 mil­lion in rev­enue fund­ing.

Trossachs and Teith coun­cil­lor Martin Earl made the case for a new nurs­ery build­ing for Cal­lan­der which he said had been “ex­ist­ing out of a glo­ri­fied por­ta­cabin” for more years than he cared to men­tion.

He added: “They have been do­ing amaz­ingly well, par­tic­u­larly within the lim­its of their en­vi­ron­ment, but surely we can grasp the net­tle and take this as an op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish a larger, fit for pur­pose fa­cil­ity in Cal­lan­der.

“There is no pri­vate pro­vi­sion in Cal­lan­der and it has al­ways been his­tor­i­cally dif­fi­cult to get child­min­ders in the area.”

Of­fi­cials agreed that 140 hours of child­care could not be pro­vided in the cur­rent pro­vi­sion and that some­thing “has to change” and said it was likely they would need more than £8 mil­lion, although these were only early in­dica­tive fig­ures.

They added: “Cal­lan­der is one of our high pri­or­ity ar­eas. Be­cause we haven’t put our op­tions out there yet we are work­ing through them and Cal­lan­der is one of the pri­or­i­ties we are look­ing at. We should get a clearer pic­ture and a more de­tailed time­line af­ter we make our sub­mis­sion to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment [ahead of Septem­ber 29 dead­line].

“We would hope by the end of the year we will hear some­thing back as to whether this £400 mil­lion will be enough. We will come back and keep you [the com­mit­tee] in­formed of that.”

Coun­cil­lor Earl said this week: “I was de­lighted to re­ceive an as­sur­ance that Cal­lan­der Nurs­ery will be a pri­or­ity un­der this pro­gramme. It was im­por­tant to raise this and have it on the record that this is the case.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.