Update for Parents on Early Learning and Childcare Provision in East Lothian from August 12th 2020.
We know that parents are waiting to hear about early learning and childcare places in nurseries from August 2020.
The Depute First Minister’s briefing of Thursday 16 July stated that whilst the guidance for early learning and childcare issued on the 15 June 2020 is still currently in place, we can expect a review of this guidance and a further update on 30 July. This statement also indicated that if the country continued to make progress towards Phase 4 of the Scottish Government’s Recovery Route Map then they would be in a position to ease public health measures in early learning and childcare settings, particularly in relation to small group working.
The Depute First Minister also noted that it may be possible to review whether children need to be in ‘bubbles’ and also whether blending placements with more than one provider may be possible. He further acknowledged that whilst the Early Learning and Childcare sector is reopening, it will not be a full return to ‘normal’ as there are still restrictions in place which will have an impact on this
As a result of this statement, we are now reviewing the provision of early learning and childcare and the allocation of nursery placements for the 2020/2021 academic year in preparation for any possible future changes. This may mean we will be able to offer more hours and, depending on the implications of any new guidance, we may be able to return to the type of provision offered last session. In addition, if restrictions are lifted on blending early learning and childcare between providers then this will further support parents in sourcing the service that they need to support their families.
Planning for a return in East Lothian
We are expecting an announcement by the Depute First Minister and further guidance to be issued by Scottish Government on 30 July. This will allow us to confirm our plans for local authority nursery settings for the new session and the number of places we are able to offer. Our planning to date has been in accordance with the most recent Scottish Government Early learning and Childcare guidance which was published on the 15th June, and we have been able to offer 2 days per week. If current restrictions are lifted further on the 30 July, we hope to be able to increase capacity in our nurseries and/or change the attendance pattern.
We expect to update parents from 3 August following the Scottish Government’s announcement, in time for school nursery places resuming from Monday 17 August.