Expanding Early Learning and Childcare
30th May 2018
The trial expansion of early learning and childcare in 6 centres in Highland was welcomed by Members of Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (30 May 2018).
The aim of the expansion is to provide high quality, flexible early learning and childcare that is accessible and affordable for families.
Scottish Government is committed to nearly doubling the entitlement of funded early learning and childcare (ELC) to 1140 hours a year by 2020 for all 3 and 4-year olds and eligible 2-year olds. Highland Council, as part of this phased expansion is trialling 1140 hours from August 2018 in six centres:
Merkinch Primary School Nursery
Merkinch Family Centre
Fliperz Day Care Centre
Obsdale Primary School Nursery
Kyle Primary School Nursery
Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Loch Abar (BSGL)
Cllr Andrew Baxter, Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: "Expanding early learning and childcare provision supports the Council’s Programme commitment to ‘provide services that support all our children to have the best start in life’. This is great news for children, parents and families in the trial centre communities. In addition to improving early learning it also enable parents and carers to get back into the work place hence boosting our local economies.
“Members will be asked to consider more centres throughout the Highlands moving to 1140 hours in August 2019 based on the level of funding Highland received from the Scottish Government next year."
Councillors welcomed the multi-year funding allocations to deliver the expansion of 1140 hours by 2020, of £26.469m recurring funding for service delivery and funding of £32.590m to enable capital works to go ahead.
Bill Alexander Director of Care and Learning said: “This is a welcome development, of great benefit to children and families. It will enable the Council to support the development and learning of children and assist with closing the attainment gap.
“The funding will also be used to employ graduate staff to provide additional support to children in nurseries in areas of deprivation.”
Highland Council Members have agreed to support the efforts of Caithness Transport Forum and Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee to improve flight connectivity at Wick John O' Groats airport. Members were informed at Highland Council's headquarters that both organisations are pressing to have investigation work carried out on the potential to have a Public Service Obligation (PSO) created on one of the flight routes.
Improvements to the management of facility lets in Highland Council properties (including schools) has been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. Committee Chair, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "I would like to thank staff for the large amount of work has been undertaken since October 2016 when the Council's Redesign Board recommended the transfer of management of school lets to the Development and Infrastructure Service.
Planning guidance approved by the Highland Council today (Thursday 16 August 2018) has updated the financial contributions that new developments will be required to make towards facilities including schools, roads and the provision of affordable housing. Members of the Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today agreed to adopt the Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance (DCSG) after a public consultation was undertaken in early 2018.
A 5 year Parking Policy and Guidance for The Highland Council area has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The policy, which is required by the local authority to underpin its enforcement of decriminalised parking will cover the period from 2018 - 2023.
Highland Council Members have agreed to support the efforts of Caithness Transport Forum and Wick JOG Airport Consultative Committee to improve flight connectivity at Wick John O' Groats airport. Members were informed at Highland Council's headquarters today (16 August 2018) that both organisations are pressing to have investigation work carried out on the potential to have a Public Service Obligation (PSO) created on one of the flight routes.
The Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee has today agreed the Longman Landfill site in Inverness as the preferred location to construct a new centralised waste management facility (Materials Recovery Facility) to recover recyclates and produce Refuse Derived Fuel, as the Council's preferred interim arrangements for meeting the requirements of the ban on landfilling which commences in January 2021. This facility will process all of the Highland’s 83,000 tonnes of residual (non-recyclable) waste from 2021 onwards.
The Winter Service Policy for The Highland Council this coming winter 2018/19 has been approved by Members of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee. The Council's policy relates to clearing and gritting of Highland Council adopted roads, cycle ways, footways and footpaths.
On Thursday 16th August 2018 councillors on the Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee will discuss the update from Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership which is reproduced below. 3.
The Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee of Highland Council will meet on Thursday 16th August 2018. Item 23 on the agenda is "Parking Services".
The Highland Council is delighted to be working with the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands to support Highland-based people who are interested in a career move to gain both their PGDE and complete their induction year within 18 months. Following an earlier event in June, Highland Council and the University of Dundee and University of the Highlands and Islands are hosting a second information evening on Tuesday 14 August 2018 from 5:30pm - 7pm at the University of Highlands and Islands, Inverness College, Inverness Campus IV2 5NA.
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