STAFF and children at a Clacks nursery were treated to a visit by a Scottish minister.

Menstrie Early Learning and Childcare Centre hosted Natalie Don MSP, the minister for children, young people and keeping the promise.

Natalie engaged with the children as they created sculptures and she was notably impressed with their progress with writing and storytelling through a long-term literacy project.

She commented: “Since August 2021, all councils in Scotland have been offering 1,140 hours of high-quality funded early learning and childcare to all eligible children.

“The continued high uptake of the Scottish Government’s expanded childcare provision is positive news – we know high quality early learning benefits children by supporting their development.

“Seeing this provision in action at Menstrie ELC demonstrates how important this policy is and the difference it makes for children, parents and carers.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with our partners both in local government and in private, voluntary and childminding sectors to ensure our early learning and childcare offer continues to make that positive difference.”

A highlight for Natalie’s visit was the implementation of free flow play at Menstrie which allows access to the outdoors and for making use of the whole community for outdoor learning.

Councillor Graham Lindsay, education spokesperson, was thrilled to host the minister at Menstrie.

He said: “I was delighted to be part of the team welcoming the minister to Menstrie ELC.

“The staff at Menstrie have created a positive and nurturing environment, ensuring the experience for our youngest learners is not just educational, but fun and exciting.

“This approach, working alongside their partners at our other ELCs, shows we are striving to give our children the very best start to their education journey.”