LITTLE Stars Nursery in Alloa is set to move to a brand new home – doubling the number of children it can care for.

The £500,000 project from owners Sheila and Kevin Gilmartin will also bring with it breakfast club and after-school care places.

Planning permission for the erection of a single story nursery on part of a vacant site on Smithfield Loan was granted by Clackmannanshire Council earlier this month.

To cope with the growing demand it will relocate from the current spot on Bedford Place to The Pleasures, just behind Redwell Primary School.

The purpose-built 4000 square foot building will be able to offer 51 places for children – from birth to five years-old – in an open plan, quality learning environment.

The search had been on for a premises for quite some time, as the current one was deemed too small to cope with the enquiries coming in from local parents.

Kevin said: "The new nursery will offer the families of Clackmannannshire a purpose built/modern nursery to cater for working parents who require five days a week care over 51 weeks.

"The current nursery is licensed for only 19 children and we have been restricted by our size.

"With the number of enquiries we receive increasing every month we needed to find an alternative, larger location to cater for this."

For the first time, Little Stars will also be providing 30 breakfast club and after school care places, including a school holiday club.

It will also encompass 20 full-time and part-time jobs, including one for a chef to allow for a home cooked meal as part of the new service.

Kevin said: "The new purpose built nursery will be open plan in design with all three areas babies/toddlers and pre-school all on the same level with staff visibility of 360 degrees.

"There will be direct access for all children to an exceptional outdoor learning environment.

"We will be offering nutritious and healthy cooked meals and there will also be a separate area to cater for an after school club."

The nursery will be designed in line with the company's others in Falkirk, Stirling, Glasgow and Hillington.

Little Stars – which has been in Alloa for around 20 years – is a private partner provider with the local authority.

With the planned increase in pre-school funding to 1140 hours by the Scottish Government, the owners believe it is an ideal time to plan for the future and increasing demand.

And they say the parents of Clackmannanshire will have "the perfect indoor and outdoor nursery available by the end of this year".