Government announces funding for school-age childcare

It has been announced by the Scottish Government that it is investing £1 million to fund school-age childcare.

The announcement was made 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.

It will be distributed to local authorities in the four areas, with the services delivered by regulated childcare services and activity-based providers.

Children’s Minister, Clare Haughey 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.”

The Scottish Government also confirmed 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 30th 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.

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