Every nursery in Moray has received £500 and every childminder in partnership with Moray Council has been given £200 to spend on outdoor resources as part of the covid-19 recovery measures being support by the local authority.
All settings had already been working towards increasing and improving their outdoor provision as part of the ELC expansion of funded hours but the coronavirus pandemic has meant the push for more time outdoors for young learners is even more important.
Speaking about the cash injection for ELC providers, Senior Project Manager of the ELC expansion, Robin Paterson, said: “Exposure to nature through outdoor learning is not only an incredibly valuable experience for children but has an added importance in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
“The emerging scientific evidence and health advice indicates the virus is much less likely to spread out of doors and is therefore the safest place for children and adults alike. We expect that there will be strong legacy from our partnership approach with our private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers that will continue to change the way we perceive ELC.”
Zoe Williamson, manager of VIP Childcare in Elgin said of the funding: “This funding has come at a welcome time for our nursery and others like us. While we already incorporated outdoor learning as standard this will enable us to invest in outdoor play equipment and expand our outdoor provision to allow more time outside.”
Leann Cairns, a childminder in Lossiemouth, said: “We know the benefits to children of being outdoors, both in their health and learning, so this funding will enable me to develop more activities to enhance the time spent outside.”