Two schools in Torbay will be receiving funding to improve or provide nursery provision.

This follows a successful award of £775,870 to Torbay Council’s Children Services from the Department of Education to extend the nursery offer in the Bay. The funding supports the delivery of the government commitment to provide 30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds from September 2017.

The successful bids were for Ellacombe Academy and White Rock Primary School. Ellacombe will use the funding to increase its nursery capacity to 60 places; 48 of which will meet the 30 hour offer. White Rock Primary School plan to open a new nursery which will provide 26 places, all meeting the 30 hour offer. These plans are subject to the schools securing statutory approval for the change to the age range of the school. Both projects are still subject to planning approval.

Councillor Julien Parrott, Executive Lead for Adults and Children said: “This is great news for both of these providers. They are based in densely populated areas and experience a high level of demand for childcare. I am sure this successful bid is great news for families who live in the areas around these schools.”

Ellacombe Academy’s existing nursery is accommodated in a Church Hall adjacent to the school. The funding will be used to maximise the potential of this building by reconfiguring the current layout and refurbishing the second storey, which is currently not utilised.

Lynn Atkinson, CEO and National Leader of Education for Learning Academy Partnership (Multi Academy Trust) said “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for local families and the Little Stars Childcare Centre in Ellacombe, which is part of the Learning Academy Partnership. We are thrilled that this build and refurbishment will ensure a new state of the art environment and facility, preparing children for the best possible start in their lives. This new facility will match the quality of outstanding provision and teaching that currently exists, whilst providing more places for local children”.

At White Rock Primary, the funds will be used for establishing a new provision. The funding will be used to install a modular building on the school site which will include a learning space, toilets, resource area and an office. The project will also fund the creation of a secure and dedicated external play area.

Sarah Tomkinson, Headteacher at White Rock Primary School said “We are thrilled that our bid has been successful and look forward to welcoming nursery aged children into our school in the very near future. This project will further enhance the educational provision for local children”.

The works on the new provisions are due to start in early spring this year and will be ready for the beginning of the new academic year in September 2017.

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