New nursery expansion plans ready to switch on...

The council is on track to deliver 1140 hours to all children by September, with some eligible starting in August

Early years and childcare is changing

Getting up and running is subject to all settings complying with government rules, so they are safe as possible, appropriate staffing levels are in place and getting cracking on our new-build facilities.

Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families, says the safety of children and staff is the council's top priority and they will only move to a full roll-out of the 1140 programme as soon as it is safe to do so.

He said: "We fully intend to switch on the 1140 hours programme as soon as our facilities are ready, staff recruitment has been finalised and all facilities are complying with the latest guidance from the Scottish Government.

"We know how important the 1140 hours programme it is for everyone involved and we have a clear plan in place which is set out in clear stages."

The current phase is to ensure that the council is delivering critical childcare for vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers who are being offered free childcare over the summer holidays.

It's then hoped that from Tuesday 11 August the children of keyworkers will be offered 1140 hours provision (for children aged from birth to 5 years) subject to compliance with rules from the Scottish Government.

Councillor McNally continued: "These are extremely challenging times for everyone concerned and the pandemic has understandably frustrated some of our plans to have the programme ready for August.

"However, we remain committed to delivering the 1140hours programme as soon as it is safe and practical to do so; this will be based on our ability to implement arrangements which meet the national standards for Phase Three (Recovery) and subject to revised planning restrictions being in place."

Key workers can be also be reassured that they will continue to receive 1140 hours in August.

The roll out of lunch provision for eligible children will continue in August 2020 and all funding providers will continue to receive lunches or payments (previous arrangements will apply) for all eligible children on the days they attend.

Once all eligible children return to their sessions in August, your nursery, centre or childminder will confirm the increase in hours to parents and carers.

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