Trust aims to ex­tend hours of free child­care at Tober­mory unit

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

MULL and Iona Com­mu­nity Trust is work­ing in part­ner­ship with Argyll and Bute Coun­cil to of­fer ex­tended child­care at Tober­mory pre-fives unit dur­ing term time and school hol­i­days.

This is part of the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s Early Learn­ing and Child­care Tri­als which will test a va­ri­ety of mod­els around the coun­try for de­liv­er­ing 1,140 hours free child­care.

The Scot­tish Govern­ment has com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing 1,140 hours of free child­care for three- to five-year- olds from 2020, and the tri­als will in­form how this pro­vi­sion is rolled out.

Caro­line Wood, a di­rec­tor of the Mull and Iona Com­mu­nity Trust and a former teacher, said: ‘Lack of child­care on the is­lands has been some­thing that the trust has been look­ing to ad­dress for a num­ber of years, and we are de­lighted to be the only third-sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tion tak­ing part in these tri­als.

‘Tak­ing part in the trial pro­vides us with a real op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate the de­mand for ad­di­tional flex­i­ble child­care.’

The com­mu­nity trust is cur­rently in the process of reg­is­ter­ing its child­care ser­vice ‘Mini Muileachs’ and is re­cruit­ing a man­ager and staff (see page 22).

The tri­als are due to com­mence in the 2017 summer hol­i­days, run­ning through to June 2018. Although first pri­or­ity will be given to those reg­is­tered for pre-fives at Tober­mory from Au­gust 2017, chil­dren reg­is­tered at other pre-fives units on Mull will also be able to ac­cess ad­di­tional hours if re­quired.

Par­ents of el­i­gi­ble chil­dren should al­ready have re­ceived an in­for­ma­tion leaflet ex­plain­ing how the tri­als will op­er­ate, or fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.mict.co.uk/projects- ser­vices/child­care.

In the longer term, the com­mu­nity trust is ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of de­vel­op­ing a com­mu­nity nurs­ery fa­cil­ity. It is look­ing for in­ter­ested people to join the steer­ing group for this new de­vel­op­ment.

For more, con­tact Laura Percy at en­quiries@mict.co.uk.

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