THREE “nurseries of the future” have been built across the city in an effort to modernise the way young children learn.
The nurseries at Duddingston, Wardie and Fox Covert primary schools have all been designed with a focus on natural colours and materials, which are said to provoke a positive response.
Features include designated “playzones” for arts and crafts and large sliding doors providing views to nature and natural light.
Some of the materials inside have been created using timber from council parks, while modern technology such as interactive screens has been installed.
Janie Jones, the centre manager for the new Fox Covert Nursery, said children play with natural items, such as wooden blocks and learn about their properties, instead of plastic toys.
She said: “This is an amazing facility which is giving our children great opportunities to develop. They are having a fantastic time, working, exploring and investigating.
“It’s a huge development for the local community and will support all our families to give their children the best start in life and make them the best in Scotland.
“There is more of an emphasis on children becoming involved with the natural environment – this develops their curiosity, independence and imagination.”
City education leader Councillor Paul Godzik officially opened Fox Covert Nursery yesterday.
One of the largest in Scotland, it can cater for 70 three- and four-year-old children each morning and afternoon, with another 15 places for two-year-olds.
Mr Godzik said: “The contrast between traditional ‘old school’ nurseries and what the council are starting to provide now is quite ground-breaking.
“The light, open design of these nurseries gives children the opportunity to express themselves and can only help stimulate them in such a fantastic learning environment.
“We really want our children, staff, parents, carers and communities to enjoy their new buildings and what they have to offer.
“All these amazing design elements will help children on their journey to becoming successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.”
The council now plans to spend £4.2 million replacing existing nurseries at Ferryhill Primary School and Tynecastle Nursery, and is also lining up new facilities at Leith Primary School.
Nurseries at Longstone Primary School, Granton Early Years Centre, Davidson’s Mains Primary School, Corstorphine Primary School and the new St John’s RC Primary School have also seen investment.