Published 11 June 2021
All eligible families across West Dunbartonshire now have access to 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare ahead of schedule.
The Scottish Government required local authorities to provide 1140 hours of childcare to all three and four-year-olds as well as eligible two-year-olds by August 2021.
More than 1900 children are accessing the 1140 hours following the roll out of the new and expanded Early Learning and Childcare. All eligible 2 year olds and all three and four years olds have been in receipt of 1140 hours since the start of May 2021, ahead of the statutory date of August 2021 set by the Scottish Government.
Work at the last of the remaining sites Dalreoch, Dalmonach and Gavinburn ELCCs is now complete and the centres are fully operational. When Linnvale Early Learning and Childcare Centre is refurbished, this will offer further choice and flexibility of places within the Clydebank area.
The Council has successfully recruited 433 of the required 447 employees with the final recruitment drive underway to ensure the final posts are filled by the start of the new term in August.
Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “This is a great achievement by all departments who were involved in the early years expansion. I am really pleased to see our implementation of 1140 hours completed ahead of time and I would like to thank everyone involved in delivering these new facilities. The completion of the final new and expanded centres will be welcomed by families and will give children the best start to their education now and for years to come.”
Depute Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Ian Dickson, said: “The completion of the services is great news and it’s also very encouraging to see West Dunbartonshire delivering this ahead of some other Councils in Scotland. This ambitious programme of works has been achieved through the commitment and partnership working of several departments across the Council. I would like to thank them all for the part they’ve played in helping to provide excellent early learning to children across the area.”