by Claire Nicolson, of Fas Mor
Fas Mor is a Gaelic medium childcare facility situated in Sleat, in the southern peninsula of Skye. It provides a stimulating environment for children, through the medium of Gaelic, throughout the week. Hitherto, there has been no formal childcare facility, therefore this was a much welcomed development in the area, partiuclarly for working families, and a crucial benefit to the local economy allowing parents to advance their careers in local business.
The only service to pre-empt Fas Mor was Croileagan, the Gaelic playgroup, which Sir Iain Noble established at Fearann Eilean Iarmain in 1988 to provide a Gaelic environment for parents and toddlers, which was one of the first Gaelic medium playgroups in Scotland.
Immersion from a young age is essential for the development and sustainability of a language and studies now show that immersion before the age of three greatly improves the chances of the language being passed on inter-generationally, putting Fas Mor and its counterparts in a key position to support the revitalisation of Gaelic. The intellectual benefits of growing up with bi-lingual ability are now widely recognised.
Fas Mor welcomes children with no previous Gaelic and it is encouraging to see how quickly they are able to converse with other children in the language. Fas Mor is a non profit making organisation, registered as a charity in Scotland. the fees paid by parents and carers provide the salaries and running costs of the facility, with additional grant aid required annually.
Fas Mor is delighted to have been included by the Royal Celtic Society as one of thie year's beneficiaries and is very grateful to the Society for its support. There would be a warm welcome at Fas Mor to any visiting members of the Society! Bidh Ghadhlig agus ceol gu leor!