Argyll and Bute Council’s Early Years team is asking all parents and carers of children under the age of five to say how an increase in childcare and education hours should be delivered.
The Scottish Government’s Children and Young People Bill will increase the amount and flexibility of free early learning and childcare from 475 hours a year to a minimum of six hundred hours for three and four year olds, and two year olds who are, or have been at any time since turning two, looked after or subject to a kinship care order.
Provision of early learning and childcare has two purposes – to improve child development and to help parents to find or stay in employment. To comply with the early years and childcare element of the Bill, local authorities must consult parents about what the pattern of provision should be in their area.
Argyll and Bute Council Children’s Champion Mary Jean Devon said: “I hope parents and carers will take part in this consultation – it is important that the outcome reflects what we actually want for our children in Argyll and Bute.
“The increase in hours will be welcomed by many, but the way in which it’s delivered will have an impact on family life. If you want to be a part of the decision make sure you complete the survey.’
To take part in the consultation and make your views known go to the Argyll and Bute Family Information Service website and complete the short survey.
There will also be a link on the Argyll and Bute Early Years Facebook page, and printed copies of the survey are available from all pre-5 units and nurseries, as well as council customer service points in each town.
The consultation will begin on August 29 and will run until October 31.
The outcome of the consultation will be published, and the views of local parents who have taken part will help to form the basis for decisions on the future of childcare and pre-5 education.
Find out more about the Children and Young People Bill 2013 here.