Back to school

Early learning and childcare (ELC)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scottish Government removed the statutory requirement for Local Authorities to deliver 1140 hours of ELC from August 2020, it will however, be reinstated for August 2021.

All eligible children (2-5 years) will be entitled to 1140 hours (or part thereof) from August 2021.

Highland have continued to phase in delivery of 1140 hours where this is possible, with only a small number of settings still to move to 1140 hours in August 2021.

From January 2021, Highland have enabled parents to take 1140 hours across 2 settings, even if one of those settings can only offer 600 hours. This means most families can access 1140 hours ahead of the statutory requirement.


Scottish Government update

Scottish Government have confirmed the full return to ELC from 22 February 2021.

Staff returning to ELC will be classed as keyworkers and can have access to keyworker childcare where there is no viable alternative.

School age childcare remains only for children of keyworkers or those classed as vulnerable.

Highland is working with local authority, partner settings and childminders to establish full return to ELC with all appropriate health and safety and infection control measures in place.

Core public health measures underpin reopening of ELC:

  • Enhanced hygiene and cleaning
  • Active engagement with Test and Protect
  • Physical distancing of adults, including parents at drop off and pick up
  • Maximizing use of outdoors spaces
  • Limiting children’s contacts, including limiting the number of settings attended.