Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, joined the children at Seafield Nursery for lunch today (Friday 15 February).
The Scottish Government is introducing funded meals for nursery age children as part of the early learning and childcare expansion.
In Moray, children receiving their funded 1140 hours a year of early learning and childcare over lunchtime are entitled to a meal provided by the adjoining or local school kitchen with the dish of the day coinciding with the school lunch menu. The nursery menu also runs on a six weekly cycle and is available for parents to view online.
Lunches are served in the nursery by a catering assistant and have already proven to be a big hit with the children.
Seafield Nursery Manager, Rachel Main, commented: “We’ve been serving nursery lunches since August 2018 and already see a huge difference in the children’s confidence using cutlery, and development of their social skills during our happy, relaxed lunchtimes. We’ve also had great feedback from parents who say their children are now willing to try different foods at home.”
Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, said after her visit: “Ensuring that every child has access to healthy meals and snacks while at nursery is a key pillar of our National Standard for early learning and childcare providers. It is important that children are exposed to positive eating habits at an early age, helping to pave the way for good health and contributing towards closing the attainment gap by giving every child an equal chance to succeed.
“It’s great to see the positive impact that access to healthy meals is already having on children in Seafield Nursery. As we move towards the full roll out of expanded funded early learning and childcare, these benefits will come to even more children and families through our commitment that every child receiving a funded ELC session will receive a free meal from 2020.”
Chair of the Children and Young People’s Services Committee at Moray Council, Cllr Sonya Warren added: “We know the idea behind the Scottish Government’s funded lunch for three and four year olds is ultimately to close the attainment gap by ensuring the health and wellbeing of our children so to see that in action at Seafield Nursery is a wonderful testament to the staff here who are supporting the children to get the best out of their time in nursery.”
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.