PARENTS in Inverclyde have two weeks left to apply for early learning and childcare places for next term.
Applications are now being accepted by local nurseries and childminders for children who turn three years old between March 2021 and February 2022.
Completed forms must be submitted by Friday 26 February at the latest. Any applications received after this date will be referred to a post-admissions panel in August. Forms are available from local early learning centres.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education, said: “Enrolling a child for nursery or childcare is an important first step on their education journey and we have some of the best educational facilities in the country right here on our doorstep.
“It’s also crucial for many parents and carers across Inverclyde for work, training, education and other related reasons.
“We were able to meet the original target date to almost double early years provision to 1,140 hours per child each year despite the coronavirus pandemic so there is now increased demand for places.
“That’s why it’s important that parents and carers contact their preferred nursery or childminder to obtain an application form as soon as possible so they can complete and return it before the 26 February deadline.”
The council implemented the Scottish Government early years expansion policy in August 2020 even though local authorities were afforded more time for the rollout because of the pandemic.
Under the scheme, free early years provision has almost doubled from 600 to 1140 hours a year.
The additional hours for children and families is being offered in council nurseries, funded nursery settings and funded childminders.
Placements are subject to public health restrictions for early learning and childcare, such as physical distancing for staff, small protected cohorts for children and blended placements.
More information about early learning and childcare in Inverclyde is available on the council website.