ANGLESEY Council has started talks on reorganising nursery education on the island as it seeks major savings across its services.
The authority started talks with Mudiad Meithrin yesterday (Thursday, January 30), as it considers lowering children’s admission age to primary schools so they receive nursery education there rather than other playgroups.
Dr Gwynne Jones, Director of lifelong learning, said: “We’re aware that this is a matter of concern to pre-school organisations and will endeavour to work closely with them to reach an agreement on the best way forward.”
The proposals come as part of the Anglesey Council’s consultation on this year’s budget, as the authority looks to save £7 million this year.
The authority has a statutory duty to ensure children receive 10 hours of education a week from the start of the school term after their third birthday.
In many parts of the island, these hours are currently provided by pre-school organisations until the September after the child’s third birthday - through funding provided by the authority - and are then provided by the school.
In some parts of Anglesey, these hours are provided entirely by the pre-school organisations.
The council wants to continue to work with pre-school organisations in areas where it is not possible to lower the admission age to ensure that nursery provision remains.
Councillor Ieuan Williams, Anglesey Council’s leader, asked education officers to discus a short-term solution before addressing the situation in the long-term.
He added: “Our aim is to provide value for money for all Anglesey tax payers, whilst also safeguarding the best education for our children and necessary support for parents.”
Anglesey Council also intends to hold talks with the Wales Pre-school Providers Association in the near future.
A Mudiad Meithrin spokesperson said the organisation would not comment as it was in talks with council.