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New partnership pilot promotes Gaelic for toddlers (12/04/12)
The Highland Council, the Care and Learning Alliance (CALA), and Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are working in partnership as part of a pilot project to develop a vibrant Gaelic 0-3 early years sector across the Highlands.
The partnership has created five part time Gaelic Parent and Toddler Development Workers posts who will be shortly be visiting Gaelic toddler groups in local communities across the Highlands.
The pilot, which is funded through Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund, has initial funding for this year and it is hoped to extend this if the project proves successful. The main aims of the Development Worker posts are to support and promote Gaelic language learning and usage amongst children and parents attending Gaelic Toddler groups. They will also encourage and provide support and information to parents who are considering bilingualism for their children through Gaelic Education.
Lisa Macdonald will support and develop toddler groups in Ullapool, Gairloch and Kinlochbervie. Maree Nicolson will have responsibility for supporting groups in the Tain and Bonar Bridge areas and Carole-Ann Farquhar will be the development worker for the Caithness area. Ina MacRae will provide support to groups in the Plockton and Lochcarron areas and the post supporting groups in the West Lochaber area is expected to be filled soon.
Margaret Mulholland the Council’s Community Learning and Development Officer said: “This is an important time for Gaelic development especially as the Council’s second generation Gaelic Plan has been recently discussed and approved by the Council and the development of the 0-3 sector is one of the many action areas which require to be addressed.
“We wish all the Gaelic Parent and Toddler staff all the best in their new posts, and thank Bòrd na Gàidhlig for their input and financial support. The Workers have a vital role to play in supporting the voluntary Gaelic Parent and Toddler groups as the toddlers attending could well be the Gaelic Teachers and community leaders of the future.”
Gaelic development from birth to three years of age is a priority area for Bòrd na Gàidhlig. BnG’s Head of Education and Learning, Mary MacMillan said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes the creation of these new posts to help develop the growing 0-3 sector. Parents across Scotland are becoming aware of the proven benefits of bilingualism which is evident from the interest in pre-school groups. We wish the new workers well and look forward to working with Highland Council and CALA to improve upon the successes already seen in this area.”
This is the first time that the Care and Learning Alliance has been involved in Early Years Gaelic provision. They currently offer advice and support to a wide range of voluntary early years groups across Highland, Moray and Argyll and Bute.
Valerie Gale, CALA Operations Manager said: “We are pleased to be involved in working collaboratively with The Highland Council and Bòrd na Gàidhlig on this exciting new development within the Gaelic 0-3 sector.”
If you are interested in Gaelic provision for your toddler you can contact the Toddler Development Workers at the Care and Learning Alliance office Tel: 01463 703033
Or by e-mail