Media Release: Nursery plans herald new life for old school


ONE of Dunbartonshire’s most popular children’s play centres is to be transformed into a pioneering nursery, creating up to 25 new jobs in the process.

Husband and wife team, Alana and David Farmer, have applied for permission to transform the well-known Sox and Slides Family Entertainment Centre at Milton into a state-of-the art day care nursery catering for up to 126 youngsters between the ages of six weeks and five years-old.

The couple, who have two young children of their own, took over the running of the former Milton primary school building on Colquhoun Road almost two years ago with the ambition of creating a new active learning experience for child development and enrichment which is open 51 weeks a year.

Alana, who already runs the Shine School of Performing Arts for youngsters in Dumbarton and has a ten year-track record as a successful local businesswoman, said: “We know from experience in working with youngsters, and as parents ourselves, that children often learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Fun is a key element to keeping them interested, engaged and active.

“We are looking to recruit highly experienced nursery staff and teachers to provide sensitive adult support and ensure everything we do is not only enjoyable for the children but also instills in them an enthusiasm and motivation for learning.

“Our aim is to create an environment which responds to each child’s development needs and to provide a unique, high quality and fun learning atmosphere.”

The couple have applied to West Dunbartonshire Council for change of use of the B-listed sandstone property which was opened in 1905. The design has been hailed as both an excellent example of an early 20th century school building and an important asset to the architectural heritage of Milton and the surrounding area.

The new nursery, called Great Start Childcare, aims to open later this year and is already attracting interest from parents as far a field as Bowling, Old Kilpatrick, Balloch, Dumbarton, Bonhill and even Helensburgh.

David said: “Our location, right next to the main commuter route into Glasgow, makes it an ideal drop off and pick up point for parents commuting to work along the A82. We have already something of a waiting list from families interested in finding professional day care for their children which offers more than a baby-sitting service.”

Plans for the new nursery include the fitting out of new classrooms for different age groups, rest areas for younger children, food preparation facilities, a large outdoor area and the installation of a new state-of-the art security system.

David added: “One element from the old Sox and Slides we will be keeping is the indoor play equipment which will be used as part of the learning curriculum. It also means that in bad weather when it’s too wet to use our extensive outdoor area the children can still get plenty of exercise.

“We will be the only nursery in the country to have this facility and plan to use it to encourage physical education and incorporate various educational skills into fun activities in line with the Curriculum for Excellence.”


For more information on the plans for the new nursery please contact Alana Farmer on 07921720990.

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Contact: Alana Farmer
Phone: 07921720990