Families with pre-school children in Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie are set to benefit from recent Council decisions to build a brand new early years facility in each town.
Representing an investment of more than £4.5m, the three centres will help the Council deliver on the Scottish Government pledge to increase early learning and childcare hours for each child from 2020.
The new buildings will create spaces for 272 children: 88 in Bearsden, 96 in Kirkintilloch and 88 in Milngavie.
Councillors agreed last night (Thursday) to progress the development of the Kirkintilloch site, having already given the green light to the others in the summer.
The development sites are:
- The former Brookwood Library in Bearsden.
- Land across from Kirkintilloch Police Office at Southbank Marina
- The former St Joseph's Primary in Milngavie
By 2020, all 3 and 4 year olds and all eligible 2 year olds will be entitled to 1140 hours free early learning and childcare, an increase on the 600 hours currently provided.
In March 2018, the Council agreed its Early Years Strategic Plan to look at how it will be able to offer families these additional hours. It has been working in partnership with local people and other providers to trial various models across the area and, as a result, the need for new facilities in the Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie areas was identified.
Joint Leader, Councillor Andrew Polson, said, "There is a great deal of work to be done to ensure that, come 2020, the Council is in a position to offer families the best possible choice of early learning and childcare services.
“The three new facilities will go some way towards meeting demand and it is great to see that we have been able to identify sites that formerly housed Council services for that purpose. Future generations will benefit from these community resources as their parents and grandparents have done."
Joint Leader Councillor Vaughan Moody, added, "This Council decision enables officers to take a very important step forward towards meeting our responsibilities to offer quality, affordable and flexible choices to local people. The three new centres are part of a bigger picture of early years delivery across the area with existing facilities also extending their hours and partner providers coming on board.
"We will continue to listen to local people who use our early learning and childcare services to ensure that what we provides works well for them."