G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Monday 22 July 2024
 14°C   SSE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Childcare expansion to be fully funded

SIC Education and Families Committee Chair George Smith.

SHETLAND Islands Council has hailed a Scottish Government deal that will ultimately see the local authority receive over £3 million in 2020/21 when a national expansion of early learning and childcare services is rolled out.

The council is also set to receive £3.3 million over the same period in capital funding for any associated building works.

The settlement was agreed last week after a funding deal was struck between Scottish ministers and COSLA leaders.

It means that the roll-out of the government’s expansion in Shetland will be fully funded.

The government is set to double the number of hours of fully funded early learning and childcare available to three and four year olds, as well as eligible two year olds, to 1,140 hours by 2020.

The new deal will see the government spend around £990 million a year on day-to-day funding for the scheme – an increase on the previously estimated £840 million.

The government has also pledged capital funding of £476 million for councils across the country.

SIC education and families committee chairman George Smith hailed the deal and added that the government had “substantially increased their original offer”.

“This is great news for Shetland and will allow staff to put in place the plans they have developed over the last year and more,” he said.

“Often council staff do not get the thanks and recognition they deserve for the work they do but I am absolutely certain that without the work put in by staff in Hayfield House along with colleagues in finance and capital programmes, and no doubt others I am not aware of, Shetland would not have been in as good a position as we are.

“We will still have many challenges rolling out these additional hours to every part of Shetland but at least the funding of it shouldn’t be one of them.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

The extra hours have been trialled in Urafirth since April last year, while nurseries and playgroups in Whiteness, Dunrossness and Burra have also begun expanding their hours.

Childcare minister Maree Todd, who is also a Highlands and Islands list MSP, said: “This is a landmark agreement, which marks the culmination of more than two years of hard work to establish a robust shared understanding of the costs attached to the expansion.

“I am grateful to all those in local authorities who have worked tirelessly to prepare expansion plans and cost estimates. As we now move into a delivery phase, I look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in local government.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.