£1 million to support low-income families.
More families will benefit from funded school age childcare as part of a national mission to tackle child poverty.
The Scottish Government is investing £1 million to expand services in parts of Dundee, Glasgow, Clackmannanshire and Inverclyde, with a roll-out of similar provision in other parts of Scotland from April 2023.
Eligible low income families in the four targeted areas will be helped with the cost of childcare for primary school aged children. Families in most need will pay nothing.
Children’s Minister Clare Haughey, who today visited the Linlathen area of Dundee to speak to families accessing school age childcare, said:
"Delivering our vision of a high-quality, affordable and accessible system of childcare is crucial to our national mission to tackle child poverty. It can help parents and carers to access work, training or study, while children benefit from additional opportunities to socialise and take part in a range of activities.
"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering school age childcare – what we learn from the four areas that will see services expanded will help us understand what is needed to support families in different communities.”
Dundee City Council family support worker Doug Millar said:
“The Linlathen project will go a long way to help remove barriers to childcare for people in this area.
“Parents will be able to access employment opportunities while their children are enjoying activities delivered in a safe and nurturing environment.”
The Scottish Government also confirmed today that it will continue the Nursery Rates Relief Scheme, providing 100% relief on non-domestic rates to eligible day nurseries beyond the current end date of 30 June 2023.
The commitment is contained in the new Strategic Early Learning and School Age Childcare Plan 2022-26. This focuses on building a national system of school age childcare and a new early learning and childcare (ELC) offer for one and two-year-olds. This will build on the success of the existing 1,140 hours of funded ELC offer for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.
Early Years Scotland Chief Executive Jane Brumpton said:
“We welcome the publication of the Strategic Early Learning and Childcare Plan, which emphasises the importance of high-quality early years provision for children and families, whilst acknowledging the dedication and commitment of staff and partners across the early learning and childcare sector.
“We also welcome the extension of the nursery rates relief scheme which will support the sector during these challenging times ahead. We will look forward to working in partnership with Scottish Government and the ELC sector to implement the priorities within this plan and support innovative solutions that focus on the needs of children and families and support the early years sector to thrive and flourish.”
The £1 million investment in school age childcare will be distributed to local authorities in the four targeted areas, with the services delivered by regulated childcare services and activity-based providers.
Families receiving school age childcare support in the four target areas fall within the six priority family types as identified in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan. They are: lone parent families, minority ethnic families, families with a disabled adult or child, families with a younger mother (under 25), families with a child under one, and larger families (three + children).
The Best Start: Strategic early learning and school age childcare plan for Scotland, focuses on building a national system of school age childcare and a new early learning and childcare (ELC) offer for one and two-year-olds.
Since August 2021, all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds have been able to access 1,140 hours a year of funded early learning and childcare.
Alongside the Strategic Early Learning and Childcare Plan, the Scottish Government has published a strategy setting out its approach to evaluating the impact of the expanded entitlement to 1,140 hours of ELC.
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