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Bòrd na Gàidhlig agrees new funding package for Fàs Mòr childcare facility

It was announced this week that Bòrd na Gàidhlig has made a new three-year funding commitment to the Fàs Mòr childcare facility based in Sleat on Skye. The new agreement means that Fàs Mòr will receive £48,000 over the next three years from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to help them to maintain and build upon the Gaelic childcare service that they provide for the south of Skye.

Both Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Highland Council provide vital funding towards the running and development costs of Fàs Mòr which is based at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. The college itself also provides in-kind support through its facilities and staff. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has now agreed that Fàs Mòr will receive an increased funding package of £16,000 per year, over a three-year period. Not only will the increase in funding help the centre to further improve the service they provide, but the three-year agreement will give Fàs Mòr the certainty required to plan for the future.

As part of the agreement, Fàs Mòr will continue to contribute to the objectives of the National Gaelic Language Plan, and they will prepare an action plan to help meet those objectives and further strengthen Gaelic in the community as part of their work.

Mairi MacMillan, Head of Education and Learning at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “Fàs Mòr makes an important contribution to Gaelic medium education in Skye and Bòrd na Gàidhlig is keen to see progress and growth in the early years’ sector, and as such we welcome any project or facility which can contribute to that. Over the years Fàs Mòr has been very successful in strengthening Gaelic among young people and we are delighted to be able to support them so that they can continue and build upon that success in the years ahead.”

Welcoming the news, the chair of the board of Fàs Mòr, Flora MacLean said: “We are absolutely delighted and very grateful to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for the promise of this financial support over the next three years. It will give to Fàs Mòr an excellent opportunity to move forward with projects which will enable the strengthening of the language among the children and members of the community. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has been very supportive to Fàs Mòr since its inception, and that has been of great benefit to parents who work in the area and to the wider community.”

Fàs Mòr’s manager Lisa Corse said: “The staff at Fàs Mòr are delighted with this news. Fàs Mòr is a unique and very special place where we give children up to the age of twelve more opportunities to speak and hear Gaelic. Children from homes where Gaelic is not spoken are given the chance to hear and speak Gaelic outside of school and it is very important for language acquisition that the children are able to be immersed in a Gaelic environment outside of school. We are able to boost the confidence and fluency of children and that helps increase the confidence parents without Gaelic have in Gaelic medium education. With regard to the National Gaelic Language Plan, we are working to deliver four out of the eight key outcomes.”
Fàs Mòr offers Gaelic-medium childcare and caters for children up to 12 years old, and there are 81 children currently registered with the centre, which is based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Fàs Mòr was established in 2004 and has built up a reputation for providing high quality childcare, and is not only a highly-valued service for the community, but a key element in the ongoing promotion of Gaelic in Sleat. The centre frequently receives positive feedback from the Care Inspectorate as part of their programme of annual inspections and reports, and parents have also praised the service that they and their children receive. Fàs Mòr was also named as Gaelic Business of the Year last year.

Fàs Mòr is one of the few centres of its kind in Scotland which delivers childcare through the medium of Gaelic, and there are currently three full-time staff (including the manager) and two part-time staff who work there.

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