The staff of a new nursery were praised yesterday for their efforts to make sure children benefited from outdoor education.
Flowerpots Nursery was formally opened by MSP Gillian Martin yesterday.
She visited the recently revamped centre which has had a new roof, flooring, fencing and new turf installed to bring it up to standard.
While being shown outside and welcomed into the snow by the children, Ms Martin was quick to praise the extensive play area.
“What I’ve really seen today is how nursery education can be indoors and outdoors.
“I spent some time in Finland and for them getting outside is important – I’m particularly impressed with how much this is valued here.
“We’re coming out of the days where we didn’t let our children get messy and it really is preparing them well and giving them the experiences to be ready for school.
“A wee bit of mud can be dirty but it’s great to see them embracing and learning from it.”
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Nine children were bounding about the nursery yesterday with two young babies playing in the younger area.
Councillor Alastair Forsyth was delighted to attend the official opening after seeing the project through from the start.
He said: “It has been a tremendous experience for me as a councillor to help and support this, get the building underway and see it turn out this well.
“It is extremely important, particularly with the Scottish Government pledge of 1,140 hours of childcare a year, that there are developments like this and the opportunities this presents for the children.
“The impacts can’t be understated.
“Opening a nursery like this affects local employment, encourages people to the area, ensures youngsters are off to the best start.”
Flowerpots director Alison King was pleased with the opening event.
She said: “We’ve a lot on offer here.
“As we took over from the playgroup that was here before, we kept the staff and are hoping to recruit more in the future.
“We’re also the first nursery to be open for children ages three months up to five years so you can easily send both children here.
“We work from 7.30am to 6pm 50 weeks of the year which is also new for this area.
“It has been a great opportunity from the start and seeing it officially opened today just shows that we can apply what we’ve learned at our Newmachar nursery and bring a lot to the area.”