New starts at university – from birth to five!

Youngsters from the new University of St Andrews nursery with Principal Professor Sally Mapstone. (Picture: Alan Richardson.)
Youngsters from the new University of St Andrews nursery with Principal Professor Sally Mapstone. (Picture: Alan Richardson.)
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The University of St Andrews has welcomed a new intake of youngsters.

As keen and eager as any undergraduates, the youngsters in question are not students, however, but the first to join the University’s Roseangle House Nursery, which officially opened today (Wednesday).

Principal Professor Sally Mapston, with children and staff, cuts the ribbon to officially open the university's new nursery. (Picture: Alan Richardson.)

Principal Professor Sally Mapston, with children and staff, cuts the ribbon to officially open the university's new nursery. (Picture: Alan Richardson.)

The new purpose-built facility, on the East Sands, provides 44 full and part-time places for the children of staff, students and local residents.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Principal Professor Sally Mapstone, who has taken a close personal interest in the project, said: “During my installation address I set the University the challenge of becoming more clearly inclusive.

“I said that inclusivity is central to how we are, and to how we attract the best and brightest to us, whether students or staff, and to how we keep them here in St Andrews.

“For staff and students with young families, relocating to St Andrews often means moving away from existing support networks. That can be a real concern for parents. I was struck by the fact that the University had no nursery facilities of its own readily available.

“As a university, we want parents to be confident about joining us, whether to take up a place as a student or staff member or to further their careers, so we need to ensure that excellent childcare is available.

“The opening of the University nursery is a hugely important milestone on our journey towards becoming a more open and diverse community.”

Professor Mapstone also revealed that the University is considering a further nursery in the future.

Mr Ben Stuart, director of residential and business services, said: “Over the past year, we have been working to open the nursery and chose to work with an established partner.

“The nursery will provide care for children from birth to five years old, Monday to Friday. It provides a complete package with one of the highest scoring providers of childcare.”