WORK has started on an extension to the Nightingales Day Nursery at Airedale Hospital.

The children were given the opportunity to watch digging get underway by Ellison Construction.

Nightingales is among five nurseries in the region to receive a share of £500,000 from the Early Years Capital Fund to expand facilities.

"Once the foundations are complete a new annex will be delivered by Portakabin which will provide an entire extra building for the pre-school-age children," said a spokesman.

The funding follows an announcement earlier this year by the Department for Education that a further £50m had been allocated to a capital programme to meet expected demand for nursery places from working parents, now able to access an additional 15 hours' free entitlement.

Nightingales was awarded over £200,000 to create a further 54 places, for three and four-year-olds.

"The nursery – which prides itself on helping children achieve their potential by learning through play – was recently rated as 'good' by Ofsted in all areas and praised for its well-qualified and well-trained staff and for the excellent relationship they have with parents," added the spokesman.