Last week saw the beginning of work on two early years establishments – one at Crookfur in Newton Mearns and another at Newford Grove in Clarkston.
This is just one step inEast Renfrewshire Council’s comprehensive plans to transform early learning and childcare in the area by 2020.
The Leader of East Renfrewshire Council, Jim Fletcher, joined the authority’s Convener for Education and Equalities, Councillor Elaine Green, in a turf-cutting ceremony at both locations, which are gearing up to meet Scottish Government targets for doubling the number of hours of free childcare parents can access by the end of the decade.
Parents across Scotland currently enjoy 600 hours of free childcare at local authority run early years establishments, but this will rise to 1140 hours per year by 2020, and East Renfrewshire is working now to put in place the additional infrastructure and staffing necessary to meet this requirement.
Crookfur Nursery and Primary School, which currently serves a roll of 345 children, is being extended and upgraded at a cost of £8 million, as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.
The work means Crookfur will have a planning capacity of 444 pupil places when the work is completed in summer 2017 and nursery places will be increased from 100 to 180 for the August 2016 term.
Meanwhile £1.6m investment in a brand new family centre near Williamwood High School will see 40 new early years places (including two-year olds) created for Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham.
Councillor Elaine Green said, “Several policies are converging to help clarify our thinking, and I’m delighted to see this coming together in physical form at Crookfur and Cart Mill.”