North Ayrshire Council leader visits recently refurbished early years establishments
Posted on 19 Aug 2021
Council Leader visits newly refurbished St Bridget's Early Years establishment
Council Leader Joe Cullinane says he was ‘impressed’ following his visits to a few of the recently refurbished early years establishments in North Ayrshire.
His visits to St. Bridget’s, Kilbirnie; Beith; Springside and Annick in Irvine were to see first-hand how the newly transformed facilities will be enjoyed by North Ayrshire children.
The £5.4m refurbishments and extensions include large, modern indoor and outdoor play areas with free-flowing access to the innovative outdoor spaces. The unrestricted flow from indoor to outdoor offers the children the freedom to safely access and use both areas where high quality learning experiences are available for all.
North Ayrshire Council’s ELC capital programme has 42 projects, including 27 refurbishments, 14 extensions, and 1 new build provision. The Council plans will create additional capacity at 41 facilities through its indoor/outdoor learning model and design brief. The approach to undertake refurbishments or extensions across all our ELC facilities is unique in Scotland and means that children attending all North Ayrshire Council early years establishments benefit from an enhanced learning environment.
So far, 28 of these projects have been completed, 5 at construction stage and 7 further projects are on site or planned for summer works.
From next week, the Council is set to deliver 1140 hours of ELC in all Council and funded provider centres across North Ayrshire.
To deliver the full 1140 hours for all three and four-year-olds, eligible two-year-olds and to meet the needs of families and carers in North Ayrshire, there will be three models of delivery available.
These have been developed to ensure a range of choice, particularly for working parents, and to provide the option for parents to use more than one childcare provider.
The three models of delivery are available in each locality across North Ayrshire. Model 1 settings are open form 8am to 6pm full year, Model 2 settings from 8.30 to 4.30 over term time for morning and afternoon sessions and Model 3 settings 9.00am – to 3.00pm over term time.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “I was delighted to visit the newly transformed early years establishments and speak to the staff and children. The impressive refurbishments have transformed the facilities to offer children high quality learning environments that are easily accessible both indoors and out.
“Our school investment includes the new primary schools at Moorpark Primary in Kilbirnie as well as the proposed by new Primary School at Montgomerie Park in Irvine.
“We’ve also invested heavily in our existing school estate, upgrading facilities at Kilwinning Academy, Irvine Royal, Auchenharvie and providing the much-needed extension to Annick Primary School.
“As a Council our priority is to tackle inequality and a big part of that is through education. I am confident that the transformational nature of our investment in schools will have a long-term positive impact in closing the poverty-related attainment gap, but schools and education cannot be viewed in isolation from everything else. Children spend more time outside the classroom than they do inside it, so if we are to tackle the attainment gap, we must support families outside of school too. That’s what we are doing with our council house building programme, our Community Wealth Building approach and initiatives such as our Cost of the School Day programme and the ever-growing Fairer Food Network. Considered altogether, the work we are doing as a Council is a catalyst for real change which can finally shift the dial on the inequality that has plagued our area for too long.”