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22 November 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Announcement on Nursery Provision

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, has welcomed the announcement from the Minister and Children Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP, that more than 100,000 families will benefit from a yearly saving of £700 owing to the Scottish Government’s increased nursery provision.

The increase in nursery provision from 475 hours to 600 hours, which has been proposed in legislation which is currently being looked at by MSPs, will add up to a saving of £85 million across Scotland. The extra hours will be available to three and four year olds, as well as the most vulnerable two year olds, reaching an estimated 106,400 families across the country.

Local authorities are being given £50 million in 2014/15, with Aberdeenshire Council receiving £2.7 million and Moray Council £900,000 to support this. Councils will from next year have to ask parents what they want for their children in terms of nursery provision, and offer more choice.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The early years of a child’s development are crucial, and I am glad to see that the Scottish Government is committed to extending nursery care.

“Moreover, this is another sign of the Scottish Government’s desire to help families who wish to get back into work, rather than taking punitively forcing them to do so, as the UK Government is doing.”

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell MSP said:

“The increase in nursery care from 475 to 600 hours a year will make a real difference to families both in terms of organising day to day life and in balancing increasingly tight household budgets.

“In giving more free hours to three and four year olds and the most vulnerable two year olds, we are ensuring that 121,000 children will have access to more high quality care. This will help the education of our children and support parents who want to get back to work.

“Our consultations show that for many families the cost of childcare is prohibitive; it takes up a significant portion of family income and can dictate what work or training parents can take on.”
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