At today’s (30 July) full meeting of The Highland Council, Members agreed that the Council ceases its provision for key worker childcare on 10 August 2020 at the latest, depending on the circumstances of each location.
This decision follows the announcement made by the Scottish Government that the requirement for local authorities to provide free keyworker childcare ends on 31 July.
The Leader of the Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, said: “I would like to thank our hub volunteers who have dedicated their time to help us to provide this essential service of emergency childcare to keyworkers across the region”.
“I would also like to thank our partners, High Life Highland and Eden Court, who supported our provision of this service. Together, we have been able to create a safe location for Highland children during this period of recovery from the covid-19 pandemic”.
Keyworker childcare hubs were set up in Highland in response to the rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, when the Scottish Government made the decision to close all schools and Local Authority Early Learning and Childcare settings.
During this period of closure, the Highland Council opened up to 15 Keyworker Childcare Hubs with additional support from partners, in order to provide emergency childcare for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, to ensure that key workers had continuing access to appropriate childcare. During the summer holiday period the Highland Council area key worker hub network, saw provision provided across in excess of 50 different settings, facilitating provision for around 400 children of Highland area keyworker parents and carers.
We are now entering phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown, meaning alternative childcare provision is restarting in Highland communities, and education settings are aiming for a full return of pupils on 12 August.