66 children without nursery places

THERE are 66 children across the district still in need of funded Pre-School places - while 37 places remain unfilled in both the Banbridge and Dromore areas.

Parents were informed last week by the Southern Education and Library Board whether their children had been allocated places at their first choice nursery.

More than 300 children missed out on first preference places across Northern Ireland in the first round of allocation this year.

Last year parents spoke out about being offered places for their children at nurseries miles from their homes, rendering the place unsuitable.

Currently the 37 places available in the Banbridge District Council area include: Gilford Nursery Unit, Jolly Jesters Playgroup in Dromore, Laurencetown Playgroup, Rainbow Pre-School Playgroup in Dromore and The Old Station Day Care Nursery, Dromore.

Ladybird Lane also has places avaiable - it is a new unit which was set up in Banbridge to “address the pressure for places in the Banbridge area”, according to an SELB spokesman.

He added, “Funded places which are targeted at children in their final pre-school year i.e. those born between 2 July 2008 and 1 July 2009 are available in nursery schools, nursery units attached to primary schools as well as voluntary and private playgroups and day nurseries that have pre-school places funded by the Southern Education and Library Board’s Pre-School Education Advisory Group (PEAG).”