By Deirdre Tynan • 05 October 2021 • 16:09
Families of more than 79,000 children are saving almost £5,000 per child annually on childcare, thanks to the Scottish Government’s expanded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) offer.
Since August, all three and four-year-olds and two-year-olds who need it most have been eligible for 1,140 hours of funded ELC.
Latest figures from the Improvement Service show that 90,890 children were accessing free ELC at the end of August 2021. Of those, 97 per cent (88,122) of children were accessing more than 600 hours and 87 per cent (79,262) were accessing the full 1,140 hours offer. All eligible families who applied were offered 1,140 hours.
Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said: “This week marks Challenge Poverty Week, and we know that childcare costs can place a real burden on families, so it is encouraging to see that thousands of families across the country are benefiting from our transformational expanded ELC offer.
“As well as saving families a significant amount of money, the 1,140 offer supports parents’ ability to work, train or study. We also know that high-quality Early Learning and Childcare helps to give children the best start in life, enriching their early years and giving them the confidence and skills they need to prepare them for school.”
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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