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Nearly 200 Early Learning and Childcare Educators have been brought together to share developments for the year ahead, and in particular an update on the expansion of the service in Clackmannanshire.
The staff attended the annual Sharing the Agenda event at Alloa Town Hall, and heard that by next year, all three and four years and eligible two year olds will be entitled to 1140 hours a year of early learning and childcare. This follows a commitment by the Scottish Government to the near doubling of entitlement, with the aim of providing high quality, flexible early learning and childcare that is accessible and affordable for all families.
In Clackmannanshire the first phase of the implementation of 1140 hours is well underway, and Coalsnaughton Nursery Class has been offering 1140 hours to all children since January 2018.
Phase 2 sees the opening of new Tulach Nursery in the Tullibody South campus which will be open from 8am-6pm all year round offering 1140 hours from this month. At the same time, Banchory, St Serf's and Sauchie nursery classes will also offer 1140 hours during term time.
Clackmannan Nursery Class is currently being refurbished, and once completed it will also offer 1140 hours during term time.
All partner private nurseries will offer 800 hours of free early learning and childcare.
Phase 3 from January 2020 will see a brand new nursery open in Menstrie, which will replace the current nursery class and will be open 8am-6pm all year round.
A nursery class will also open at Craigbank Primary School. From August 2020, all other local authority nurseries, partner private nurseries and partner childminders will be offering 1140 hours.
Cllr Graham Lindsay, Spokesperson for Education said: “The Scottish Government’s near doubling of entitled nursery education to 1140 hours will be truly transformational for our children and families. Clackmannanshire is well ahead of schedule in delivering this expansion of early years provision with significant investment made in increasing and improving the facilities available, with more to come in the run up to full implementation next year.”