More working families in and around Rockwell Green will be able to benefit from funded childcare places with the expansion of the Rockets pre-school.
The new Rockets building at Rockwell Green Primary is the first of six Somerset County Council projects that will boost the number of childcare spaces available in the county. Creating nearly 200 extra early years spaces in total, the aim is to ensure that local working families to take up their 30 hours funded childcare for their 3 and 4 year old children that is available from this September.
Until now, Rockets used a classroom within the primary school and only had space for 24 children. The new building – which was craned spectacularly into place in March – means it can now cater for up to 40 children, in dedicated and more spacious surroundings which include a kitchen and a large wooden verandah.
The children have just started using the new building and according to Headteacher Morwenna Dunstan they haven’t looked back.
“They are absolutely loving it and really enjoying the extra space,” she said. “It’s a really massive building and a much nicer environment.
“We’ve had an early years grant too which means we’ve been able to get new furniture, a play kitchen, play tent and new construction toys.”
Frances Nicholson, Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “It’s great to see the first of these projects completed. The cost of childcare is a real issue and the increase in funded hours will make a massive difference to many families.
“Our task is to make sure the spaces are there when people want them, and that’s what we’re doing through this really positive partnership with nurseries and pre-schools across the county.”
The other schemes to increase the number of nursery and pre-schools places are in Norton Fitzwarren, Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Bridgwater and Neroche.
For more information about the new 30 hours funded childcare offer in Somerset, and to find your local participating provider visit www.somerset.gov.uk/eye30 or call Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224