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A Glasgow childcare forum is concerned that restrictions on outdoor spaces, being considered by the city council, could have a negative impact upon early years development.
With the local authority currently debating a set of new rules on the use of parkland, the West Central Childcare Forum are particularly worried that day nurseries might find their access to outdoor play limited as a result.
Chairperson of the Forum, Gillian Robertson, is asking the council to consider the importance of outdoor play on a child’s upbringing, commenting:
“Our main concern is the proposal that nursery children will only be allowed to access the parks and green spaces in Glasgow if they obtain prior written permission from the Director of Leisure and Environmental Services. At the moment many of our members use our parks on a daily basis for a very wide range of curricular activities. We introduce our children and young people to as many different outdoor activities as possible to enrich their development and their experience of their city. To restrict this would be seriously detrimental to their well-being.”
Ms Robertson also sees the proposed restrictions as against the spirit of the national approach, pointing out that: “As you will be aware, this year Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games and is very actively promoting health and fitness throughout the city. We find it very ironic and somewhat contradictory that the Council would seriously consider restricting young people’s use of public spaces. The benefits of outdoor play and learning are very well documented and most would agree that the earlier we develop the habits of active play and outdoor pursuits the better for our children's future health and well-being.
“There is a concern that the Council will introduce permits to use the parks, which may also lead to a financial cost. Childcare costs are high enough without the Council adding to working parents’ care fees.”