More support for Midlothian’s out of school care clubs

Cllr Muirhead.
Cllr Muirhead.

Midlothian Council is to strengthen its partnership working with out of school care clubs to make sure they can best meet the needs of local families.

At the full council meeting last week, councillors approved a new policy that will see the council work with parents and carers and out of school care providers to establish and support the development of high quality, affordable and sustainable out of school care in Midlothian Council buildings.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “We recognise that, while as a council we don’t have a statutory duty to provide them, out of school care is a vital resource for modern working families.

“These clubs care for children and young people which, in turn, allows parents and carers to work, train or study.

“Earlier this year we rejected a proposal to increase out of school care let charges for charitable, voluntary and non-profit making providers from five per cent to 50 per cent of the standard let fees but as part of those discussions, we recognised we didn’t have a clear policy on out of school care and how it can best support local families. We’re delighted to say, therefore, that thanks to a lot of hard work by our officers and the Midlothian After School Club Network, that policy is now in place.”

There are currently eight out of school care providers using council premises across Midlothian with a registered capacity of over 700 places and around 1,500 children registered.