Since opening on 25 March, our six Children’s Hubs have been providing emergency learning and childcare for key workers.
We have now offered all available places for children of eligible ‘Category 1, 2 and 3’ parents/carers. We have contacted parents/carers to advise whether or not a place(s) is available.
The Children's Hubs are also now providing learning and childcare for some of our vulnerable children and those with severe and complex additional support needs.
After gathering information from parents to establish demand, we have decided to provide emergency learning and childcare provision at four locations during the Easter holidays – Musselburgh, Tranent, Haddington and Dunbar.
Lesley Brown, Chief Operating Officer (Education), said:
“This is an extremely difficult time for families. The delivery of public services also continues to be very challenging.
“Our teams did an outstanding job in setting up the six Children’s Hubs so quickly. Feedback suggests they are working well, with around 130 staff volunteers working in teams across the six hubs to provide much valued emergency learning and childcare for key workers. This has enabled parents/carers such as healthcare staff to make their contribution to the significant local and national response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“As expected, demand for places was high. We used information from parents/carers to identify key workers in accordance with definitions provided by the Scottish Government, with an early focus on Category 1 workers. Following the initial allocation of places, I’m pleased that we have been able to provide further places for the children of both Category 2 and Category 3 workers.
“As the end of term approaches, staff volunteers have also come forward to maintain provision over the Easter holidays. This will be provided within four of the school buildings which house our Children’s Hubs. The decision to operate four facilities is based on the level of demand from parents/carers.
“While this is not a situation anyone would have wanted, the arrangements we have put in place will provide assistance to key workers at this difficult time.
“More generally, school teams have been working to make remote learning as easy and engaging as possible for children and young people. While we have been keen to ensure children and young people who are eligible for free school meals can continue to enjoy healthy lunches while schools are closed. We have arranged doorstep deliveries as well as making lunches available for those attending our Children’s Hubs.”