Falkirk Council must accommodate childcare needs of 200 vulnerable young children

Toddlers will also receive more nursery time
Toddlers will also receive more nursery time

Falkirk Council is to discuss how it will accommodate 200 vulnerable two-year-olds who will need 600 hours of childcare and education come the end of October.

New legislation, which came into effect at the start of the August school term, means that more children are entitled to pre-school provision, including toddlers from workless families.

Now education bosses say they will meet for talks next month to discuss proposals that will provide additional capacity.

And, in accordance with new guidelines, plans must come into effect by October 31.

The news comes after local MSPs clashed over whether extra pre-school education was being delivered to the area’s most disadvantaged toddlers.

Tory Central Scotland Margaret Mitchell MSP accused the SNP’s childcare policy of being “in chaos” after arguing not all two-year-olds were receiving their promised provision.

She said: “Councils simply do not have enough places or sufficient accommodation.”

The extended pre-school programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Children and Young Person’s (Scotland) Act.

Over the summer, it was reported that the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) had urged the government for more time to allow councils to implement the new rules, particularly with regard to two-year-olds.

But SNP MSP Michael Matheson refuted the claims, saying: “Cosla says councils are on track to deliver this.”

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act extended free childcare and pre-school education youngsters are entitled to from 475 hours a year to a minimum of 600

In May, Falkirk Council announced it needed to create 60 new posts to cope with the increase. Education chiefs said one of the biggest problems would be finding space as two-year-olds could not be looked after in the same room as older children