Pre-School / Ro-Sgoile
Early Year's Provision is an important part of the Gaelic medium journey. The earlier a child is exposed to a language, the more likely it is that the child will then go on to recognise that language as an integral part of their identity, which will in turn nurture a lifelong affinity with the language and a strong commitment to maintaining fluency and proficiency in the language.
Many areas have Pàrant agus Pàiste (parent-and-toddler groups) and Cròileagan, (play-groups) available. For more information on local groups, please look on the Neadan website. In 2021 Comann nam Pàrant recruited a new Early Year’s team of three officers, two in the Western Isles and one in the Central Belt. As part of COVID-19 recovery they will be working to support groups to run sessions again as well as establishing new groups. Most groups are run by a volunteer committee and often employ a Gaelic speaking play-leader.
Funded early learning and childcare (ELC) is available to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds. Click here to see a full list of Pre-school Gaelic Provision available. From August 2021, the entitlement increased to 1140 hours a year (30 hours a week if taken term time).
The introduction of 1140 hours of Gaelic Medium ELC will have a positive impact on language acquisition and the development of fluency. 1140 hours provides an opportunity to raise attainment and enhance the transition experience for children through increased exposure to Gaelic from the age of 2 or 3, thus helping to strengthen the 3 – 18 learner journey.
Is Gaelic medium education possible if we can’t speak Gaelic ourselves?
Yes. Many children in Gaelic education come from non-Gaelic speaking homes. There is help available and opportunities for parents to learn Gaelic.
Does my child have to go to a pre-school Gaelic group before going into Gaelic medium education?
This is not absolutely necessary, but it is advisable whenever possible and most Gaelic medium provision does now have attached nursery provision.
A short video with parents and workers telling about Gaelic Medium Education in the early years setting.