Launch recognises role of playgroups as a 'Partnership For Success'

Aberdeenshire Council and Early Years Scotland are proud to announce the launch of a new document, ‘Partnership for Success – A Committee Handbook’ to support committee-run playgroups across Aberdeenshire.

The launch hails a refreshed way of working designed to support playgroups through the expansion of funded early learning and childcare, with a renewed focus on helping committees with what they’ve explained to us are their biggest challenges.

Running a playgroup means having responsibilities as an employer for things like governance, finance and recruitment. Alongside the new handbook, development workers who offer guidance to groups across Aberdeenshire are being given new training, developed alongside Early Years Scotland, to help them tackle these key areas. 

Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “We value the important role playgroups have in the lives of many families, and also their community-spirited place within many of our towns and villages.

“Supporting our playgroups to recruit and retain high quality staff is absolutely key to ensuring the best possible early years experiences for the youngest members of our communities. We are pleased to be working with Early Years Scotland and in partnership with playgroups across Aberdeenshire to help them thrive.”

‘Partnership for Success’ has all the information a committee needs to be self-sustainable and enable a smooth handover for future committees.

Jean Carwood-Edwards commented: “Early Years Scotland recognises the fact that we are in a period of unprecedented change within the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) sector as we move towards 1140 hours of nursery provision in 2020. This period of ELC expansion brings many positive benefits for children and families, however there are also challenges for many playgroups to overcome, ensuring they continue to offer children and families the highest quality experiences.

“This jointly created handbook, ‘Partnership for Success’ will be a welcome support for playgroups, enabling them to utilise the breadth of guidance provided, and ensure that committees feel confident and able to be self-sustainable during this time of change. Aberdeenshire Council continues to support a high number of playgroups within the region, and this Committee Handbook will no doubt be a welcome additional area of support.

“Working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council through the creation of this invaluable resource, can only strengthen the quality of experiences and learning for Scotland’s youngest children.”

Vice Chair Cllr Mark Findlater added: “As funded early learning and childcare expands in private nurseries as well as our school settings, so it will have the opportunity to within our playgroups.

“We acknowledge the importance of the invaluable work committees offer as volunteers and appreciate the commitment and dedication they give to playgroups. This is about extending our hand, looking at the areas we can help with most and supporting committees to continue to be sustainable for years to come.”

Senior officers, councillors and invited guests will mark the launch with an event at the Heritage Centre, Inverurie, today (Tuesday, March 5, 2019). For more information about the new document, and how you can access it as well as the support of a development worker in your area, email earlyyears@aberdeenshire.gov.uk