Sep 1 2010 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
AIRDRIE and Coatbridge toddlers have received a birthday gift with the news that they can now start nursery school as soon as they turn three.
The new admission rules mean that youngsters no longer have to wait until the start of the next school term to enrol and will therefore
Shawhead Nursery pupils Marc Neil and Brooke Blades marked the news with a special celebration at their Berwick Place pre-school in Coatbridge.
Councillors on North Lanarkshire’s learning and leisure committee agreed the change in rules after learning that some youngsters were missing out on months of nursery simply due to where their birthdays fell.
New starts could previously only begin at the start of terms in August, January and after Easter, meaning that those whose birthdays were shortly after those dates faced waits of up to five months to take up their place.
The new arrangements mean that children can start nursery on their third birthday and will all have six full terms there before beginning primary school.
It will be adopted by both council nurseries and their private partner centres, and the arrangement is also expected to reduce childcare costs for families since many youngsters can now start nursery earlier.
Airdrie Central councillor Jim Logue, convener of learning and leisure services, said: “Changes to the admissions policy ensures fairness and equity for all.
“The new approach will also deliver a more personalised service with children starting nursery on an individual basis rather than as part of a group and means that nursery staff can identify a child’s needs at an earlier stage.”