Children with additional support needs will have improved access to nursery education thanks to £2million announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today.
The money will fund specialist training and equipment to ensure all nurseries offering the free early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlement are equipped to care for children with additional support needs.
Today’s announcement builds on the First Minister’s pledge last week that 8,000 existing and all additional childcare staff will be paid at least the Living Wage by the end of this Parliament and comes ahead of the announcement tomorrow (Thursday 23 March 2017) of the Scottish Government’s plans to deliver a doubling of free childcare over this parliament.
Announcing the funding while visiting Smile Childcare Early Years Centre in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, the First Minister said, “Expanded provision must be delivered in a way that ensures equality of access for all children. We want our expansion plans for early learning and childcare to be built on a foundation of fairness and equity, whether that’s for the children benefiting, their carers or the staff delivering high quality learning. We know that there are a number of barriers which can prevent children with additional support needs from accessing early learning and childcare and this funding will help break down those barriers.
Local MSP, Gordon Macdonald, noted, “This will give providers the skills and equipment necessary to ensure that all children, regardless of need, can benefit from this massive expansion of early learning and childcare. In order to close the attainment gap, it is essential to intervene as early as possible in order to ensure children are given the best start in life and this funding will help to do that.”
The consultation on the ELC Bluepri