Council Plans for Expanded Early Learning and Childcare

Dumfries and Galloways Council ’s Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning Committee will hear on Friday (3 February 2017) that the Scottish Government’s requirement for 600 hours of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) a year will be met by the end of academic year 2016/17.

In February 2014, the Education committee agreed to increase ELC from 475 hours to 600 hours a year as set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

ELC is provided for more than 3,000 children across Dumfries and Galloway, with around two-thirds using 45 school nurseries and one-third using private day care and voluntary services, such as playgroups. There are also 45 childminders registered to provide funded care for eligible 2-year-olds. One of these is also registered for 3 and 4-year-olds. Since 2014, Dumfries and Galloway Council has increased flexibility in the ways that children can access their entitlement.

The Scottish Government is committed to extend ELC entitlement from 600 hours to 1,140 hours by 2020/21. The CYPLL committee is being asked to consider the principle of allocating to enable officers to model the impact of phase 1 of the 1,140 hours programme ahead of the anticipated funding settlement being announced by the Scottish Government.a

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the CYPLL committee, said: “Providing the best start in life for all our children is a priority for our Council. Anticipating the needs of ELC, we have already actioned 21 projects to build, extend or refurbish facilities at 21 schools across the region. Now, we are proactively planning to for the commitment to deliver 1,140 hours of ELC by 2020.”

Latest Articles