The fourth round of the Scottish Government’s Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund is open to applications. The ELC Inclusion Fund provides funding to ELC settings to support children with additional support needs (ASN) in Scotland access their funded ELC entitlement. It funds staff working in ELC settings to receive appropriate training and fund resources, equipment and adaptations.
The Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund will distribute up to £2 million over four years to selected registered ELC providers in Scotland, to support children with additional support needs (ASN) to access their funded ELC entitlement and ensure that staff working in their ELC setting receive appropriate training to help them meet the needs of these children.
The intention is that the fund will:
- Make ELC settings more accessible for children with additional support needs;
- Result in an increase in the number of ELC staff who are trained and confident to support children with additional support needs;
- Promote more inclusive learning experiences for children; and
- Ultimately, result in better outcomes for children with additional support needs.
The fund will cover the following:
- Suitable training for staff on relevant courses and/or professional learning that address the specific needs of children with ASN.
- Purchase of specialist equipment and resources (e.g. speech, language and communication aids, sensory equipment etc) to make services more accessible, both physically and in terms of meeting wider learning, developmental and care needs.
- Specific, one-off adaptations to the physical environment.
* Funding will not be made available for training/equipment/adaptations that are already provided by the setting as part of their existing budgets/core learning and development provision or that can be funded by the local authority as part of a child’s statutory entitlement.
Applications to the fund for training costs can also include costs associated with attendance at the funded course, such as travel costs and staffing cover for the training delegate/s.
ELC providers will need to satisfy seven stage one criteria to be eligible for the funding. If all stage one criteria are met then the applicant will be assessed against a further six stage two criteria.
The ELC Inclusion Fund is open for applications from Monday the 28th of October until Monday the 2nd of December. Applications can be made through the Children in Scotland website.