Shetland to be a childcare pilot area

Shetland is one of 11 areas in Scotland set to trial different models of childcare.

The isles are due to take part in the second phase of a pilot scheme from the summer onwards.

It follows moves by the Scottish government to almost double free early learning and childcare entitlement.

This year the Scottish government set into motion plans to increase free early learning hours for all three and four-year-olds from 600 to 1,140.

Provisions will also have to be made for a number of two-year-olds who are covered by the legislation.

The level of free hours has only stood at 600 for two years. It was in 2014 when the hours were brought up to that level from 475.

Council education staff this year sought clarity over the plans, as they try to implement the proposals before 2020.

Officials and elected members are concerned about how the changes will be put into place, particularly in rural areas.

Today’s news comes after MSP Tavish Scott raised questions over a review of schools which proposes giving more power to individual schools – proposals which have sparked calls for island proofing measures to be introduced amid concerns head teachers are facing mounting bureaucracy.


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