A WORRIED parent fears that toddlers will lose out in vital activities with the expansion of St Bridget’s Early Years Centre, but the council have offered reassurance.

The Herald recently reported that the council has plans for a £639,000 refurbishment of St Bridget’s.

But one parent branded the plans a “waste of money” as they come just weeks after the centre received a top score for its environment in a Care Inspectorate report. There are also concerns because work was carried out on the centre in 2004, when the garage was converted into an additional room for staff.

Last year, the council took the decision to remove service provision for 0-2 year old children across all Early Years Centres. Where there is an identified need, parents will be supported in sourcing day care providers within the area.

Veronica McKinnon, who has two children at St Bridget’s Nursery, said: “What they’re doing is they’re taking one to two-year-olds off the early years and putting them with childminders. Not everyone wants that. There’s nothing wrong with childminders but you should have a choice. If they’re putting all these children with childminders, how many childminders are in the area?”

The council has stressed that support for parents and parenting is “extremely important” to the authority and confirmed that support for individual parents and parenting programmes will continue to be provided.The authority has also stated that in the new plans, it is proposed to create a dedicated parents room that will provide the opportunity for parents to access a wider range of support activities.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Our pre-consultation exercise which engaged parents was held late last year and the feedback we received from them was very positive. We responded to any concerns raised through our proposal document.

“We are currently holding a consultation on our proposals and are encouraging all parents to have their say to ensure we provide the best possible learning environment and experience for our young people.”