FIVE Stirling nurseries have earned praise following unannounced inspections from Scotland’s national regulator.

The Care Inspectorate awarded Arnprior Nursery, East Plean PS Nursery, Riverside PS Nursery and Bannockburn PS Nursery a grading of five (very good) for the two areas they were assessed in, while Braehead PS Nursery received two ratings of four (good).

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, cllr Susan McGill, said: “Congratulations to all the dedicated staff at these five nurseries for achieving such positive reports from the Care Inspectorate.

“This is further evidence that children in Stirling are receiving high quality care and wide-ranging learning experiences which is giving them the best opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

All nurseries were assessed for their quality of care and support, with Arnprior, Bannockburn and Braehead also evaluated for their quality of their management and leadership.

East Plean’s quality of staffing and Riverside’s quality of environment were also examined by inspectors.

Vice convener of the Children and Young People Committee, cllr Margaret Brisley, said: “These inspection reports show our hardworking and motivated nursery staff are creating safe and rich learning environments which is helping children develop key skills.

“Everyone involved at the nurseries should be extremely proud of these achievements. A huge well done to all.”

It comes after Stirling Council’s early learning and childcare service was rated as the joint best in Scotland in a recent report.

Data from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework showed that 100 per cent of Stirling’s early years providers, which includes nurseries and childminders, were graded good or better by inspectors in 2017/18

That impressive statistic is almost nine per cent above the Scottish average and ranks Stirling in first place among the 32 local authorities in the country, alongside East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.