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Children in Scotland to manage new Early Learning and Childcare Inclusion Fund

Children in Scotland will manage a new fund aimed at supporting early learning and childcare settings to meet the needs of children with additional support needs.

The Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund will provide funding to early learning and childcare (ELC) settings to support children with additional support needs in Scotland access their funded entitlement.

It will fund staff working in ELC settings to receive appropriate training, and fund resources, equipment and adaptations.

Established by the Scottish Government, the Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund will distribute up to £500,000 in total per annum over four years to selected Scottish registered providers.

The fund aims to:

  • Ensure early learning and childcare settings are more accessible for children with additional support needs (ASN) and disabilities
  • Ensure these settings can support children with ASN to access their funded ELC entitlement
  • Increase the number of ELC staff trained to support children with ASN and disabilities
  • Promote more inclusive learning experiences for children
  • Ensure better outcomes for children with ASN and disabilities
  • Support the wellbeing and development of children with additional support needs
  • Improve inclusive practice within the early learning and childcare sector.

Jackie Brock, Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to be managing this fund which prioritises inclusion and accessibility for young children throughout Scotland and hope it will bring tangible benefits to children with additional support needs and their families.

“Ensuring that children with additional support needs are included and able to participate from the earliest stage is essential if we are to deliver the positive early experiences they deserve, strengthen workforce knowledge, and deepen understanding of inclusion in the education sector and beyond.”

Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, said:

“It is vital that if we are to close the attainment gap we intervene as early as possible to ensure that all children are given the best possible start in life. We know that there are a number of barriers which can prevent children with additional support needs from fully accessing early learning and childcare. Core service provision for children with additional support needs is fully funded in the multi-year funding package recently agreed with COSLA. This new Inclusion Fund should be a welcome, additional source of funding to help practitioners to meet one-off requirements for training or equipment and strengthen inclusive practice in the provision of funded early learning and childcare.”

The fund will open to applications at noon on Thursday 31 May 2018.

Media contact: Chris Small  csmall@childreninscotland.org.uk  0131 313 8824

 

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