Council agrees next phase of delivery of expanded early learning and childcare hours

Materials are set out for creating a picture using pine cones, ribbon and pieces of bark

Published: Thursday, 31st May 2018

The next phase of expansion plans for the delivery of 1140 hours funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds has been agreed.

Partner provider payment rates will also be increased to:

  • £4.20 per hour for three and four year olds
  • £4.55 per hour for two year olds.

The implementation plan follows confirmation from the Scottish Government that the Council’s revenue funding allocation for 2018/19 will be £1.424m.

Hours available in existing catchment areas

From August 2018/19, the 1140 hours will continue to be available in these school catchment areas:

  • Burnfoot
  • Philiphaugh
  • Greenlaw
  • Eyemouth
  • Langlee
  • Coldstream
  • Kirkhope
  • Yarrow.

These communities were able to access the additional hours in 2017/18 but for the next session, the offer will be fully expanded so that parents can take up their entitlement in a setting of their choice. This could be:

  • school nursery
  • partnership provider
  • childminder
  • a combination of any of these to fit in with each individual family’s needs.

New catchment areas also available

From August 2018/19, the hours will also be available in: 

  • Yetholm
  • Coldingham
  • Walkerburn
  • Chirnside
  • Trinity.

From January 2019, they will be offered in Burgh and St Margaret’s in Galashiels.

Again, families will be able to access their allocation in a provision of their choice and a pattern of hours to suit their needs.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“Increasing the flexibility of early learning and childcare provision to support parents to work, train or study is a vital element of our commitment to supporting sustainable employment and improved outcomes for families. 

“The proposals are also an important part of our strategy for improving outcomes overall for all our children and young people and closing the attainment gap.

“The plan for 2018/19 sets out what we see as the best way forward to achieve our goals with the funding we have been allocated so that we can begin to see the anticipated benefits of these additional hours being made available to our youngest learners, their families and our partner providers.”

Future expansion plans

The remainder of the expansion will take place between 2019/20 and 2021/22.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“The funding model that was presented to the Scottish Government provided a needs-driven, cost-effective and deliverable implementation plan. However, the allocation that we have been given for the next session and beyond presents us with a number of challenges in terms of our commitment to delivering the expanded hours in a fair and equitable way across the region and supporting our partner providers with their own financial challenges.

"Officers will now be looking at the best way of taking this forward that makes the most effective use of the financial, staffing and other resources available to us.”

More information

Read the report that went to Council