Highland on track to meet ELC expansion requirements by 2020
29th May 2019
The national expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) hours will see entitlement for three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds increased from 600 to 1,140 hours per year from August 2020.
Every setting in Highland is being considered and assessed in preparation for full roll out in August 2020. The funding from the Scottish Government means that we are able to adopt a phased approach with approximately 70 sites already identified to move to 1140 hours from August 2019, with further sites expected to be identified into January 2020 before the statutory requirement in August 2020.
The ELC expansion programme aim is to reduce the poverty related attainment gap and ensure all children get the best start in life though the provision of high quality ELC. By providing an extension to the funded hours of ELC, parents who wish to access further education, training or employment will be able to do so.
The Highland Council aims to ensure families can access a high quality service that is flexible, accessible and affordable. With over 190 providers of ELC, including private, third sector and local authority settings, the Council is committed to developing proposals for the expansion of 1140 hours to more settings in 2019/20 to support Highland families' varying ELC requirements.
Parents and carers are being encouraged to understand their entitlement to ELC and will be supported to consider their options around available provision. Take up is optional and families do not have to take the full 1140 hours on offer, but rather parents and carers can consider what is in the best interests of their children and their own commitments in choosing the amount of funded childcare.
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing committee, said: "Because the provision of high quality ELC sets a solid foundation for children to develop their learning, life and work skills and also supports parents to work, train or study we are working tirelessly to meet the expansion requirements across Highland. The evolving nature of early year’s development means we are adopting innovative approaches to recruitment, capacity, infrastructure development and service delivery in meeting this obligation."
Parents and carers wishing to find out more about the ELC options available to them are encouraged to contact the Council’s ELC project team generic email address ELCTeam@highland.gov.uk.
Road users are advised that on Saturday 22 June 2019 part of the C1112 Glen Affric Road will be temporarily closed to vehicles from 11am to 5pm during the Highland Cross 2019 event. The area affected is between the road's junction with the C1110 Cannich - Fasnakle - Kerrow Wood Road and its end at the north side of the road bridge over the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh.
People working in Highland trades businesses are being urged by The Highland Council to attend a supplier briefing roadshow event near them coming soon across the region if they wish to tender for future Council contracts. The Council has created a new Trades Services Framework for repair, maintenance and minor works to maintain and improve the Council estate and to help deliver the Council's property maintenance programme for domestic and non-domestic properties.
Steve Walsh OBE has been appointed as the Chief Executive designate for High Life Highland, it was announced today by Donald McLachlan, the Chair of the charity's Board. Mr Walsh will take up post in early September 2019, following the retirement of current Chief Executive, Ian Murray.
Highland Council Trading Standards have been made aware that cold call telephone scammers have recently changed tactics and are now targeting individual bank customers to gain access to bank accounts and clear bank accounts of cash. The so-called "authorised push payment scam" involves a fraudster impersonating a bank representative and phoning an unsuspecting potential victim by telephone.
The Highland Council is asking communities and other stakeholders for their thoughts and opinion on a draft strategy to improve the town centres of Brora, Dornoch, Golspie, Thurso and Wick. The draft Caithness and Sutherland Town Centre Strategy presents several potential actions for each of the town centres.
Highland schools and Police call on people to share information on suspected anti-social, alcohol and drug activity. Highland Council secondary schools in the Mid Highland area and Police Scotland are writing to parents and carers urging them to share any concerns or information related to possible anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug activity in their areas.
William Gilfillan, Director of Community Services will be leaving the Council on Friday, 7th June 2019. William joined Highland Council from Fife Council in 2000 to lead the New Community School development in Alness Academy.
Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to establish a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Mount Pleasant Primary School. The change is being proposed in line with Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Medium Education.
Re- opening on the horizon for Caithness. Highland Council's Care Learning and Housing Committee today agreed a package of revenue and capital funding which is a major milestone towards the re-opening of Caithness Horizons, Thurso.
The Highland Council's new Education Transformation programme is taking shape with various initiatives put in place to deliver better educational outcomes for young people, as detailed in a presentation to the Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (29 May 2019). The Education Transformation programme has the dual purpose of improving outcomes for all children and young people whilst ensuring that resources are used wisely and efficiently.
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