The enforced business closure due to COVID-19 provided an opportunity for CVN to re-examine their original business plan in light of experience, business advice and stakeholder feedback. Evidence gathered confirms that the current service location in Cambusbarron Community Centre compromises the service’s ability to meet current regulations for early learning and childcare services. In particular, that of the Care Inspectorate which stipulates ”Children need to be able to move freely and independently between both indoors and outdoors” (Space to Grow)
The size of the shared room at the Community Centre limits the nursery role to 16 and restricts CVN’s ability to grow and develop to meet the needs of its stakeholders.
Prior to lockdown CVN had been making progress in developing and building on the success of Woodland Play Sessions in line with their original business plan and advice received from Enterprise Scotland as a result of their Enterprise Accelerator program. This raised the idea of relocating the service away from the Community Centre and the idea of moving to the woods was born. Coincidentally the Cambusbarron Community Development Trust (CCDT) secured the purchase of the woods knows as Gillies Hill Community Woodland and, with developing the woods as a place of education being one of CCDTs aims, it seemed a perfect fit for CVN to begin talks about developing an area of the woods for their nursery. CVN has now secured a commitment from CCDT to lease a part of Gillies Hill Community Woodland and to build a bespoke nursery there.
CVN’s plans don’t just fit in with CCDT’s aims for the woods, they also fit well within Cambusbarron Community Council’s Community Action Plan which identified The Great Outdoors, Activities for All and Connected Cambusbarron as project areas.
Playing, learning and having fun outdoors helps to improve children’s wellbeing and resilience, as well as their physical and mental health. It also gives children the opportunity to develop a life-long appreciation of the natural world. This is particularly importantduring the current circumstances, when we are all having to spend so much more time indoors.”Maree Todd, Children’s Minister