New-build nurseries in Tayside will be ready in time for a massive increase in early years provision when the rise in hours comes into force next year, local authorities have stated.
Under Scottish Government changes, councils will be required to increase provision from 600 hours to 1,140 for all three and four-year-olds, and eligible two-year-olds from August 2020.
Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross Councils have delivered assurances they are on track to meet the new demand.
Work is under way on new Angus centres in Forfar and Carnoustie, with completion expected at the end of June next year.
The Carnoustie centre at Pitskelly Park will have space for 205 children, while the Forfar centre on the site of the town’s former Academy has a 155-child capacity.
Angus children and learning convener Derek Wann, said: “When completed these will be fantastic facilities for children to begin their learning journey in those important years before school.”
Perth and Kinross lifelong learning convener Caroline Shiers said: “Perth and Kinross Council is taking forward a range of ELC accommodation projects in its schools across the council area at present.
“Some of the smaller improvements have already been delivered as per our programme of works. The majority of our larger construction projects will be complete for August 2020 as we move towards the full expansion to 1,140 hours.
“While there are a number of projects which are scheduled for completion post-August 2020, delivery of 1,140 hours in these settings will not be compromised.”
“Work on the projects currently ongoing is progressing well. It has already been possible to provide 1,140 hours early in 14 council settings, as well as five partner providers.”
The issue is not expected to impact on plans for Dundee City Council as a significant amount of work has already been undertaken to enable a gradual increase in provision from this year.
A spokesman said: “The council is preparing for the increase in hours by refurbishing a number of mothballed nursery properties and by also investing in new build in certain parts of the city.
“Earlier this month, work started on a new nursery in Douglas,” said the spokesman, adding that councillors would be kept update on projects across the city.
Fife Council property service manager Raymond Johnston warned councillors last week delays could reduce capacity in some areas because construction firms had hiked costs since the plan was first revealed.
“There is massive pressure to deliver and that has majorly escalated prices,” he said.