Parents of young children have praised the positive impact of 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) on their child’s speech and reading development.
Almost 1,600 three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds across the region are now receiving 1140 hours ELC and parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
All children are currently entitled to 600 hours of nursery provision in council-run and funded private and voluntary providers, however a number of nurseries have been able to offer earlier access to the extended childcare ahead of the Scottish Government deadline of August 2020.
Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, visited St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class in Johnstone and Glendee Early Learning and Childcare Centre in Renfrew to see the impact 1140 hours has had on around 150 children.
He said: “The expansion in Renfrewshire is focused on providing high-quality experiences for children. It’s positive to hear parents already telling us they see a difference in their child’s speech and reading abilities since they’ve had access to 1140 hours of early learning and childcare. At St Margaret’s and Glendee nurseries, I saw for myself the variety of quality learning experiences that encourage children’s understanding of the world and that takes place in nurseries across the region.
“We will continue to offer parents whose child could benefit from the additional hours early access within their nursery centre or class where there is space and staff in place to support this ahead of the August 2020 timetable. From August 2020 onwards, eligible children will receive 1140 hours of early learning and childcare, and we continue to work towards that deadline by recruiting staff and expanding our nursery estate.”
The council has now recruited around 200 early years staff to support the 1140 ELC expansion and existing provision in nurseries across Renfrewshire, including nine modern apprentices and 23 graduates.
Training and development opportunities are available for current and future early years staff working in council and approved provider settings to help them progress on their career pathway, such as SVQs, leadership courses and development centres. There is also funding support to meet Scottish Social Services Council registration required for jobs in early years.
Refurbishment work at nine nursery centres and classes has already been completed and the final 17 are all on track for completion on their target date.
Headteacher Gillian Miller said it’s been positive to trial 1140 hours ELC within St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class. She said: “High-quality early learning experiences are vitally important to support children’s development. Our nursery class focuses on supporting children’s development and learning through play experiences.”
Main Photo: Laura, Convener, Lily and Anne Marie playing with mud – St Margaret’s ELCC Johnstone