EDUCATION bosses have admitted hundreds of children could be at risk of not having their nursery hours guaranteed by next summer.

Scotland has to nearly double the number of hours for tots to 1,140 by August 2020, and West Dunbartonshire Council has been working to make sure it has the staff and space available.

A number of nurseries have already recruited almost 98 full-time employees – all but three of them women – for the expanding hours. More than 50 are early learning and childcare workers.

The educational services committee will hear next week the early learning centre at Dalreoch Primary has 80 places at risk, following by Our Lady of Loretto Primary with 60, Carleith Primary with 50 and Gavinburn Primary with 40 – a total of 230.

The report states there is a contingency plan if building projects are delayed in the coming months.

Laura Mason, chief education officer, states in the report: “Progress across the key objectives of our implementation plan remains on track.”

Ms Mason said the main issue for private nurseries was finding a sustainable way to pay the real living wage.

Read more: West Dunbartonshire ahead of the game on childcare

All three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds will be entitled to 1,140 hours of free childcare from August.

They expect 1,101 children will have that full access by March 2020.

A number of families, including grandparents, have given the council feedback on the expanded hours as they roll out in a phased approach.

One said: “My grandson attends the new nursery at Levenvale Primary School.

“I cannot express strongly enough what a fantastic learning experience my grandson is getting here.”

Another stated: “Play experiences help my daughter learn and progress through nursery life.

“They have been rewarding as I see a massive difference in her in all aspects, emotionally, socially and cognitively thanks to her nursery life being different everyday.”

Read more: West Dunbartonshire ‘leading’ Scotland on near doubling of childcare hours

The total expansion is receiving more than £9.7million from the Scottish Government, with costs currently slightly higher at £10m.