PARENTS have praised the positive impact that extra early learning is having on their children’s speech and reading development.

Almost 1,600 three and four-year-olds, as well as eligible two year-olds, across Renfrewshire now receive 1,140 hours of learning – and feedback from mums and dads has been hailed as “overwhelmingly positive.”

All children are currently entitled to 600 hours of nursery provision in council-run and funded private and voluntary providers but that is set to almost double next year.

READ MORE: Renfrewshire Council announces plans for four new nurseries

However, a number of nurseries have been able to offer earlier access to the extended childcare ahead of the Scottish Government deadline of August 2020.

Councillor Jim Paterson, depute leader of Renfrewshire Council, visited St Margaret’s Nursery, in Johnstone, and Glendee Nursery, in Renfrew, to see the impact the 1,140 hours has had on around 150 children there.

He said: “It’s positive to hear parents already telling us they see a difference in their child’s speech and reading abilities.

“At St Margaret’s and Glendee nurseries, I saw for myself the variety of quality learning experiences that encourage children’s understanding of the world.

“We will continue to offer parents whose child could benefit from the additional hours early access within their nursery centre or class where there is space and staff in place to support this ahead of the August 2020 timetable.”

Gillian Miller, headteacher at St Margaret’s Nursery, added: “High-quality early learning experiences are vitally important to support children’s development.”

The increase is also having a beneficial effect on staffing, with the council recruiting around 200 early years staff to support the expanding and existing provision in nurseries.

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