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Ruane approves four new nursery

2 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has approved the establishment of nursery units at four local primary schools.

Nursery units will now be established at Ballynahinch Primary School and Moira Primary School. Approval has also been given to replace existing funded playgroups at Scoil an Droichid, in Belfast and Millennium Integrated Primary School, in Saintfield, into nursery units.

The nursery units will each provide 26 places for children in their immediate pre-school year. Research shows the importance of pre-school experience for children. Those who receive it are more sociable and independent and learn more quickly when they enter primary school than those who have not. The Department of Education is currently developing an Early Years 0-6 Strategy to deliver integrated services to young children. Pre-school education will form a part of this strategy.

Ms Ruane highlighted that the decision supports the objective of providing a year of good quality pre-school education for every child whose parents wish it.

She said:

"I believe in giving our children the best possible start as learners. Effective pre-school education helps the development of children and improves their social and communication skills, all of which is vital to helping them achieve." ENDS

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