A state-of-the-art sustainable and eco-friendly nursery in Coldside, costing around £4m, will open its doors to Dundee youngsters after summer.
And we were given exclusive access to the site – along with councillors Mark Flynn and Stewart Hunter – to see how the project is progressing.
The new Coldside Nursery, on Caird Avenue, will open in August on the former grounds of Frances Wright Pre-School Centre.
Early learning and childcare hours
It was commissioned by Dundee City Council to meet the government’s expansion of early learning and childcare (ELC) hours.
Entitlement to free ELC childcare is increasing from 600 hours to 1140 hours for all three and four year-olds, as well as eligible two year-olds.
A report last autumn confirmed that all eligible children in Dundee were able to access expanded ELC at that time, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The council’s city development convener, councillor Mark Flynn, said: “Construction of this nursery demonstrates our further commitment to delivering high quality learning environments for our youngest children and families in the city.
“These beautiful, welcoming spaces are designed to encourage innovation, creativity, investigation and to stir the imagination.
“The children who are the focus of this expansion in provision will have some of the most carefully designed indoor and outdoor learning spaces we can offer and I can see no better way that we could give them the best possible start on their education.”
The building will accommodate around 100 children between the ages of two and five – consisting of 70 three to five-year-olds and 30 two-year-olds.
It will employ 23 members of staff and includes an open-plan play area, a quiet play area, children’s toilets, nappy changing facilities and an accessible bathroom.
There will also be external play areas for the nursery’s older children and a plant room, along with three snack kitchens and a staff room, as plans previously revealed.
Children and families convener, councillor Stewart Hunter, said: “This is an impressive new nursery.
“The expansion of ELC entitlement is designed to help improve the education of our children while also tackling the effects of poverty.
“Our nurseries are receiving impressive inspection reports, and we are recruiting and training a workforce with the skills to support children who are capable, rich in resourcefulness and full of potential.”
Part of a larger project
A city council building programme for ELC expansion has seen a number of refurbishments take place across the city, as well as a new build provided at Balmerino Nursery, which will also open in August.
Both Coldside and Balmerino nurseries and being built by contractors Robertson Construction Tayside.
The firm’s regional managing director, Kevin Dickson, said: “As the construction delivery partner of choice for the new learning environment at Caird Avenue, Robertson is continuing its collaboration with Dundee City Council and assisting it in meeting the Scottish Government’s early learning and childcare expansion plans.
“The new first-class facility will provide a nurturing environment for children as they begin on their learning journey.
“Construction works are progressing well, and Coldside Nursery is set to welcome its first intake of children this summer.”
Families who want to apply for a place at Coldside or Balmerino nurseries can see details here.