Aberdeen City Council consults with parents and carers over the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare

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Aberdeen City Council has launched a consultation on the future of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) provision in the city, starting from Friday, 27 September, 2019.

The Council would like to hear from parents, carers and potential parents on the plans to extend the current provision from 600 to 1140 hours in August 2020 for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.

The consultation, which runs until Friday 1st November includes an online survey followed by a series of focus group meetings and parent and carer information evenings. Information will also be shared regularly on Aberdeen City Council’s website, on social media and through partners, community groups, locality events and electronic events.

Fiona Lawrie, Early Years Service Manager for Aberdeen City Council, said: “This is an exciting time as we look forward to expanding funded early leaning and childcare services from 600 to 1140 hours per year by 2020. We recognise how the expansion of ELC can play its part in improving long term outcomes for children and families and help us achieve our LOIP ambition of reducing the poverty-related attainment gap and ensure that Aberdeen is a place where everyone can prosper.

“We really welcome this opportunity to hear the views of parents and carers which will play an important role in shaping how we progress towards roll-out of the service expansion next year. It is important that we take families and communities with us on this journey and everyone’s voice will be listened to throughout our extensive consultation and engagement programme over the coming months”.

Under the new proposals, parents and carers will have more choice on when, where and how they use their child’s funded ELC entitlement with a variety of settings available, including council nurseries and associated sites, private funded providers and childminders. Each of these will offer high quality ELC provision.

The extended hours are an entitlement not a requirement so parents can choose to take all or part of the hours available to them. Among the suggested flexible models are a full day provision, a half day (morning or afternoon) offering or a blended approach of council and funded provider / childminder.

Aberdeen City Council is adopting an area by area approach, prioritising the areas of greatest need and will adopt a flexible approach to the provision of expanded services to help ensure needs are met.

To comment on the consultation go to Aberdeen City Council’s Consultation Hub: https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/operations/early-learning-and-childcare-parents-survey

The online survey closes at 5pm on 1 November.

A link to the consultation is also available on the Expanding Early Learning and Childcare page: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/education-and-childcare/expanding-early-learning-and-childcare

If you have any questions about ELC expansion please contact: elcexpansion@aberdeen.ac.uk