Council has ELC target within its sight

Highland Council

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Highland Council is well on track to meeting the requirement of delivering 1,140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) by August this year.

Members at last week’s education committee were updated on the ongoing rollout of funded ELC provision, learning that 92 per cent of settings are delivering the required hours.

Councillor John Finlayson, chairman of the education committee said: ‘I am delighted we are continuing to progress with delivering 1,140 hours of funded provision in Highland.

‘I am pleased that, at present, we are still on track to achieve this despite the Covid challenges we have all faced in recent times and the additional Covid-19 restrictions being implemented nationally at the start of the year.

‘This is a large project of work and I thank each individual involved for their continued efforts in helping us deliver this essential service which will support families across the region and so many other areas of our recovery agenda.’

From August, Highland Council will be working with the Scottish Government on a new scheme to support the health and wellbeing of young people and instil healthy behaviours for life.

The Scottish Government will fund, via the council, all pre-school children, toddlers and babies attending eligible settings for two hours or more per day, for one third of a pint of milk or a specified alternative and a healthy snack of a portion of fruit or vegetables.

Members of the committee also approved the Education and Learning Directorate Service Plan for 2021/22.

The plan outlines the education service’s priorities for improvement which are linked to Key Performance Indicator to measure progress.

The first key priority is to raise attainment and maximise achievement for all children and young people. Health and wellbeing for all children and young people across the region has also been prioritised.

The plan can be found on the council’s website.