An outdoor woodland nursery will be built at an historic north-east estate.
Councillors approved plans for the new nursery at Haddo House near Tarves yesterday.
A yurt will be erected to house the children, with a new woodland path created leading up to the nursery.
The Scottish Government wants to increase the provision of free childreen from 600 to 1,140 hours per year by 2020 for three and four-year-olds, almost doubling the number of free hours and to 30 hours a week of free childcare.
Under the plans, parents of two-year-olds on qualifying benefits will receive the same number of free childcare hours.
The Haddo proposals were submitted by Marie Denise Bowie, an early years practitioner with 28 years experience.
She told the Formartine area committee that Ellon and the surrounding area is under-resourced in terms of wrap-around childcare provision – full daycare of children for working parents.
The new nursery will operate from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, opposite the visitors centre.
Tarves Community Council had raised concerns the building would be out of character for the traditional granite site, but planning officers felt the yurt was suited to the rural setting.
Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services at Aberdeenshire Council, said in a report: “The structure can be removed without lasting impact and this mitigates the impact of a new building within this setting.”
“Haddo House and Country Park is primarily a place of historical and natural value but also a place of entertainment particularly suited to children.”
Backing the scheme yesterday, Mid-Formartine Councillor Karen Adam said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the area.
“As a mother of six I am well aware of the benefits of outdoor learning.”
Councillor Paul Johnston added: “It’s a wonderful idea, it’s a wonderful location.”