Positive progress is being made by Argyll and Bute Council as it prepares for the increase in free early learning and childcare provision, to 1140 hours per year by 2020.
The expansion in childcare, from 600 hours to 1140 hours, is part of a Scottish Government initiative aimed at providing young people with a high quality experience that can make a significant contribution to their development, and help close the poverty related attainment gap.
At today’s Community Services Committee, members were presented with a detailed plan of how the implementation is progressing, and what steps have already been carried out.
The council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “Our priority is to ensure that our children and young people are given the very best start in life.
“In order to meet the needs of parents and carers, we carried out consultations with them and our partner childcare providers. We listened to their feedback and as a result a large number of ELC services in Argyll and Bute are already providing them with access to these additional hours.
“Extended hours obviously means we need more qualified staff, and our Education Service and Learning and Development Team have been working closely with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to address this."