Early Years Expansion

Early Years Expansion Image

Final preparations are underway across Dundee to deliver the near doubling of young children’s entitlement to early learning and childcare by next year.

The city council’s children and families service committee will hear that new jobs are being created, with modern apprenticeships and the future skills college creating a well-trained and high quality workforce for this increase in early education hours.

Millions of pounds are also being invested in a series of building improvements to help deliver the new service. A new nursery in Douglas is proposed, while refurbishments of former nursery buildings across the city are ongoing.

Entitlement to free early learning and childcare will increase the current 600 hours to 1140 hours by 2020 for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds.

Already, a number of nursery have been operating with the increased hours, and a number of benefits are reported.

These show that children have coped well with more hours and that parents can attend for family learning opportunities.

Children and families service depute  convener Councillor Roisin Smith said: β€œWe are putting in a huge amount of preparation for this change to ensure that we can get the services in place for the young children who are entitled to them.

β€œThis means that we are not only looking to get more people trained to have the correct skills, we have to make sure that there are appropriate buildings available.

β€œOur partner providers across Dundee are essential to help us deliver this change and we see services developing across the city in a mixed and flexible fashion.”

Councillor Smith added: β€œThere will be many educational benefits for the children who are the focus of this expansion and it will give them a great start that will help them as they grow and move onto school.

β€œThe expansion of nursery hours will also have an impact on the economy of the city, allowing parents to attend training courses or take on jobs that they would not have been able to in the past due to time or cost issues.”

The committee meets on Monday May 13.                               

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