1140 hours update 30 March 2020

Important update on 1140 hours of early learning and childcare for parents

As you are aware, we have been planning for implementation of 1140 hours of early learning and childcare for August 2020. However the outbreak of Coronavirus has taken over as the main priority for all local authorities and the Scottish Government.

On Monday evening (30 March) the Scottish Government wrote to all local authorities to update on the introduction of 1140 hours. The Scottish Government have legislated to: “remove the statutory duty on education authorities to make 1140 hours of early learning and childcare (ELC) available to each eligible child from 1 August 2020.”

This means that East Lothian Council, along with all other councils, will not be introducing increased hours of early learning and childcare as we had planned to for August 2020.  

Why has the Scottish Government made this decision?

The Scottish Government have taken this decision: “recognising that the ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic means that much of the work planned for this summer to enable roll out of the 1140 hours expansion cannot now go ahead, as construction projects cease, recruitment and induction of additional staff is put on hold, and local authorities concentrate on the urgent task of providing critical childcare for those who need it most... It would be wrong in these extremely challenging circumstances to legally oblige councils to deliver this commitment. This leaves us with no choice but to suspend the statutory duty on local authorities to provide 1140 hours of ELC from this August.”

What does this mean for you as a parent/carer?

1140 hours of early learning and childcare will not be available through all of our own nurseries, or through our funded providers (private nurseries, childminders and community groups), from August 2020 as originally planned.  
Council nurseries and funded providers who currently offer 1140 hours will continue to do so.  

We are awaiting further information from the Scottish Government on its updated timescales. We will keep parents updated through our website and other channels as soon as information becomes available.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about 1140hours please email us.