Summer support for children

Free activities, childcare and food to help with cost of living.

Thousands of children from low-income families will benefit from free childcare, activities and healthy food as part of a £10 million summer programme.

Available to children and young people aged five to 14 years old who need it most, the funding has been allocated to local authorities to supplement existing holiday programmes or to develop new ones.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“School holidays can be expensive for families, especially when household bills are soaring. This funding means children and young people who really need it will be able to access coordinated childcare, activities and nutritious food over the summer.

“They will have opportunities to play, socialise and access a range of activities that broaden their experiences and supplement their learning.

“Support will be targeted at the six priority family types at greatest risk of poverty, including lone parent families and families with a disabled adult or child. We have a national mission to tackle child poverty and, along with £21.75 million in funding for alternative holiday food provision for families eligible for free school meals, this offer will provide much-needed support over the summer.”

COSLA Children and Young People's Spokesperson Councillor Tony Buchanan said:

“The rising cost of living is exacerbating the already stark and unacceptable reality of poverty in the lives of children, young people, families and communities. We are pleased that this additional funding will enable local authorities to build on their regular summer programmes to enhance opportunities and support for priority groups of children and young people.


“Councils and their local delivery partners will provide varied programmes, incorporating activities, childcare, and food provision, in line with local needs and guided by what children, young people, and families themselves say will make a difference.” 


To support the summer holiday funding, the Scottish Government is encouraging local authorities to work in close partnership with the third sector, the out-of-school care sector and community and youth groups, harnessing their expertise to design and run services and activities that reflect the needs of local families.


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