Parents and children have welcomed a new contract secured by the council with Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) ahead of the opening of Tillydrone and Cummings Park Nurseries.
The news comes after a video showing the benefits of the expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) across Aberdeen was released earlier in the week.
The two nurseries, Tillydrone and Cummings Park, will open in the new year accommodating 56 and 80 children respectively. Thanks to Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to continue with the roll out of 1140 hours, FCSS is offering fully-funded, flexible early learning and childcare to eligible 2-5 year olds.
FCSS, a national charity who already manage settings across Scotland, was created after it was found that parents were unable to accept offers of employment due to a lack of high quality, flexible, and accessible childcare services.
Susan McGhee, Chief Executive Officer at FCSS said:
“We are extremely excited to be working with Aberdeen City Council within these two new sites.”
“By offering a flexible model, families can maximise the benefit of their funded entitlement, reducing the need for them to purchase wrap around hours.”
“It will help families to save money, it will allow parents and carers to continue working, and therefore children are more likely to attend and experience the benefits that high quality early learning and childcare brings.”
The council is committed to delivering 1,140 hours of ELC every year to eligible pre-school families up from 600 hours. This equates to 30 hours per week during the school term for families.
The expansion of hours will help support child development through the provision of high-quality services. The programme will also help parents and carers return to work or study, as well as supporting child development through the provision of high-quality services.
Families have the choice to access 1,140 hours of ELC at school nurseries, as well as private nurseries and childminders in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.
Councillor M. Taqueer Malik, convener of the Educational Operational Delivery Committee, said:
“We are delighted to be in partnership with Flexible Childcare Services Scotland to help transform young lives and support the development of our city’s youth to give them the best start in life.
“Children can have the opportunity to make new friends and learn together through these centres, and by doing so are able to enjoy themselves and have fun, making it a great environment to learn in.”
The council will further welcome the opportunity to participate in the Scottish Government’s project to pilot an additional year of funded ELC for children who defer their primary one start.
From August 2023, all families will be able to access a further year of funded ELC if they wish their child to defer entry to primary school.
Outdoor nurseries are also due to be completed in December at Hazlehead and Duthie Park, subject to weather. The council will be one of only two authorities’ delivering a full outdoor ELC, the other being in Midlothian.