The Scottish Government has announced £645 million to expand early learning and childcare provision across Scotland. It is estimated that this will save families in the Highlands & Islands £4,500 per child a year.
To find out more about the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget click here: Scotland’s Draft Budget: 2020/2021
Public Finance Minister in the Scottish Government, Kate Forbes, announced the investment which will support the doubling of the free provision of childcare to 1140 hours from August 2020 for all 3- and 4-year olds and eligible 2-year olds
As well as improving outcomes for children, this investment is estimated to save families up to £4,500 per child per year and give parents and carers more choice over how they access their child’s funded hours and flexibility to explore work, education or training opportunities.
The Draft Scottish Budget also intends spending £180 million in raising attainment in schools, and to support the building, refurbishment and extension of around 880 nurseries.
By the end of this parliament,2021, childcare spending will have more than doubled to £990 million.
Local MSP Maree Todd SNP, who is also the Minster for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government said:
“This commitment from the SNP to almost double the provision of free childcare will help ensure children across the Highlands & Islands are given the best possible start in life, and Scotland becomes the best place in the world to grow up.
“That £645 million investment will save families in the Highlands & Islands up to £4,500 per child per year and give parents and carers more choice over how they access their child’s funded hours and flexibility to explore work, education or training opportunities.
“A massive investment in childcare is something that MSPs of all parties can get behind – I hope to see my political opponents back the Scottish Government’s plans in Parliament next month.”