Messy play and veg patch on offer after nursery grant

Playtime Just Got Better! Academy Childcare Assistant Louise Styan with Sydney Weaver, Isabella Bickerdike, Cheyenne Southern, Louise Styan, Ben Fieldhouse and Gabriella Bickerdike in the newly extended outdoor play area.
Playtime Just Got Better! Academy Childcare Assistant Louise Styan with Sydney Weaver, Isabella Bickerdike, Cheyenne Southern, Louise Styan, Ben Fieldhouse and Gabriella Bickerdike in the newly extended outdoor play area.

GRATEFUL staff at a Harrogate nursery have seen massive improvements to the children’s playground thanks to a grant from North Yorkshire County Council.

The Academy Childcare and Party Zone, on Oakdale Place, secured £10,000 from the council’s Early Years and Childcare Services in order to overhaul the outdoor play area and add some new features enabling it to open its doors to non members too.

The remodelling included an extension to the playground to fit in a new story corner, a digging area, a messy area, a vegetable patch, a water feature and the mysteriously named Clatter Bridge to Nowhere.

Academy manager Philippa Shackleton said: “We are very grateful to North Yorkshire County Council for helping us create a superb facility for the children to use.

“Children love playing outside and the new additions to the play area are proving very popular indeed.

Once they have finished digging and clattering, they can then sit in the story corner and read books.”

She added that the academy was committed to constantly improving its facilities, whether that’s the fitness area, tennis courts of the Childcare and Party Zone.

Julia Lowery, North Yorkshire County Council’s early years and childcare manager said: “The outdoors offers experiences that you cannot provide indoors such as the natural environment, the Great British weather, the space and outdoor activities such as gardening, digging in the soil and playing in the sand.

“Children nowadays do not get to play outdoors as much as they should and can seriously be disadvantaged if they don’t get the opportunity to do so.”