Nursery children in East Renfrewshire tuck into council’s healthy lunches

East Renfrewshire Council is serving up 5,000 healthy lunches every week to nursery children across the area after introducing this additional service over the summer.

Children at Arthurlie Family Centre in Barrhead tuck into lunch along with child Development Officer Niamh Anderson.

As part of the council’s roll-out of increased free childcare for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds, a hot lunch is now provided in all nursery classes and family centres.

The number of free hours available to all children in early years is now 1,140, which is in effect a rise to 30 hours per week.

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This change matches the time children spend each week in primary school and has allowed many families to opt for full day early learning provision.

Providing hot meals ensures all children have access to nutritious lunch options and develops more of the skills and experiences which will help ensure a smooth transition to primary school.

To allow this service to be introduced, many of the nurseries and family centres required modifications to be carried out and all facilities now have dedicated dining arrangements in place for children to eat.

Councillor Alan Lafferty, convener for Education and Equalities, said: "We know how important a balanced diet is for helping young minds to develop and this additional service will serve to further enhance the experience of all the young people attending our early years establishments.

"You can see from the smiles on their faces how much they are enjoying the new menu and it is testament to the hard work and dedication which has gone in behind the scenes to ensure we were able to deliver this service to such a high standard.”