Parents in Buckie are “delighted” after the Cullen Play Centre announced plans to expand into the town to help address major childcare shortages.
A report presented to councillors explained that nurseries at Millbank and St Peter’s in Buckie and in nearby Portgordon were full.
Meanwhile, the capacity at the town’s Lady Cathcart has been reduced from 50 to 42 due to coronavirus restrictions.
Moray Council is running an expansion project to play its part in a Scottish Government commitment to deliver 1,140 funded annual hours for all three and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds by August.
Cullen Play Centre steps up amid childcare shortage
It has now been confirmed that work is starting soon to transform a building on West Church Street, Buckie, into a nursery to provide 24 early learning childcare places.
The new facility will be opening up its doors to youngsters in August.
Cullen Play Centre manager Pauline Shepherd said: “The extension of childcare hours means that all three nurseries in Buckie have been pretty much full.
“We are going to move our children aged three to five to Buckie but keep Cullen for the two-year-olds.
“Our current premises in Cullen aren’t big enough to have everyone there.
“In our new facility, we will be providing 24 new childcare places.”
Mrs Shepherd added: “We have been looking for a building since January and the big problem has been the outdoor area because it is a requirement for the Care Inspectorate.
“This building has a huge garden which is great.
“However a lot of work is needed, with the garden in a mess, and inside the building we are getting a wall knocked down to make a bigger brighter space.
“The work will also include new toilets, sinks and a kitchen.
“The builders will get started as soon as they can as we will be opening in August.
“Everybody I have spoken to is very delighted for us.”
New facility hailed a ‘big boost’ for Buckie
Moray Council’s early years service manager, Hazel Sly, said: “Having worked in partnership with Cullen Play Centre for a number of years now we’re delighted they’ve taken the decision to extend their offering to Buckie.
“I’m sure it will be well received and we look forward to working closely with them to continue that partnership to benefit families in the area.”
Meanwhile Buckie councillor Sonya Warren added the facility was a “big boost” for the area.