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Early years expansion: one year to go

Press release   •   Aug 13, 2019 10:29 BST

Moray Council is marking one year to go until the full roll out of the early learning and childcare (ELC) expansion by publishing a new early years guide for parents.

With big changes on how funded ELC is delivered in Moray the information may seem overwhelming for parents unfamiliar with early years provision. The new guide, called Your Choices, aims to walk parents and carers through all the decisions they’ll be making about their child’s early learning and childcare.

Chair of Moray Council’s Children and Young People’s Services committee, Cllr Sonya Warren said the decision about which ELC service to use for a child is “pivotal” in their learning and development: “Research shows that the early years are crucial to a child’s development and the environment they are in can shape their outlook on life. Therefore, it’s understandable that the decision made by parents and carers about ELC provision is a pivotal one for our children. Parents, quite rightly, want to know the facts before committing to a path for their child.

“Funded ELC hours are optional to use and how and where parents choose to use them may prove to be an overwhelming decision. This guide gives tips and hints of things to consider when choosing between nurseries and childminders but ultimately a parent or carer will know their child best and is best placed to make that decision”.

Moray Council’s early years guide for parents can be found online and will be available in hard copy.

The ELC expansion offers all three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds, up to 1140 hours a year of early learning and childcare, funded by the Scottish Government. Moray has been phasing in the increased hours, almost doubling the previous entitlement, and is already offering 1140 hours to over 1,000 children. Moray Council is on course to have all necessary changes to the service in place to ensure all 2,000 children here have access to the increased hours for the target date of August 2020.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.