EDUCATION bosses have stressed that progress is being made at the sites of three new West Fife nurseries.

While Fife Council wouldn’t give timescales of when they might be ready, they have confirmed that builders are on site at the projects in Halbeath, Pitcorthie and Rosyth.

The new nurseries were being built to deal with the demand in places because of Scottish Government plans to expand free childcare provision from August.

However, councils are no longer obliged legally to deliver 1,140 hours of funded childcare from the summer as there would have been no way to build the new facilities in time after the construction industry was put into strict lockdown measures.

Building work was halted for several months because of coronavirus but head of education and children's services, Shelagh McLean, confirmed that "work is progressing as scheduled in line with Scottish Government construction sector guidelines".

Councillor Fay Sinclair, convener of the education and children’s services committee, said: “It is fantastic to see progress being made on the construction of our new build nurseries, which are now really beginning to take shape.

“I know the children attending Halbeath (temporarily housed within Carnegie Nursery) are particularly enjoying their regular visits to watch the progress, with 'Dave the builder' talking them through the work he and his team are doing to build their new nursery.

“It is also great to see work progressing at pace on the Beanstalk Aberdour Road building.

“Of course, Pitcorthie Primary should never have been closed, but it is heartening to know local children will once again be able to access educational facilities on the site soon.”

Provision of extra accommodation in early years has been a prominent issue after a backlash of public anger about Fife Council’s handling of the allocation of nursery places.

As previously reported, parents were left upset in the summer after being offered placements for their child – some weren't offered a place at all – that was not their preferred choice or was considered unacceptable.

A working group is reviewing complaints to establish new priorities for allocation policy.