The Clackmannanshire Early Years Forum, of which Mrs Flanagan is a member, discussed a draft starter paper, part of which sought to address the very real issue of how best to utilise the additional funding which has been made available by the Government in order to extend and enhance the provision of pre-school education in Clackmannanshire from this autumn.
Four options were proposed:
* To provide significant additional resources to playgroups to allow them to cater for more pre-pre-school children.
* To provide teacher support and advice for those centres in the local authority, voluntary or private sectors which do not have access on a regular basis to teacher support.
* To encourage and support joint training initiatives for staff in all sectors.
* To make limited provision for grant applications from parents whose children attend private sector nurseries, but to restrict such grant applications to a particular income band or where other circumstances would presuppose preferential treatment.
This council has not yet made a final decision on the level of support which might be made available under each of these options. What is clear is that Mrs Flanagan's assertion that the "grant will not be given to them (working mothers)" is a misrepresentation of the facts.
Spokesperson for education and community services Clackmannanshire Council