Free childcare for vulnerable children
Early learning and childcare opportunities for vulnerable two year olds will be expanded following an investment of £1.5 million a year over the next three years from the Scottish Government.
The announcement by Children's Minister Aileen Campbell will deliver free early learning and childcare provision for looked after two year olds from next year.
This investment is the latest step by the Scottish Government towards expanding the quality of early learning and childcare provision, and the second allocation from the Early Years Change Fund. The funding will be made available to local authorities from April 2012.
The Scottish Government will continue working with the newly established Early Year's Task Force - which comprises key influencers and champions of the early years from across civic Scotland - to drive forward activity to support vulnerable children in their earliest years.
Ms Campbell said:
"As a Government, we are committed to increasing quality early learning and childcare opportunities as part of our wider drive to improve future life chances for all Scotland's children by giving them the best start in life.
"While this commitment focuses on two year olds who are looked after, we will continue to work with our partners in the Early Years Task Force to identify how we should best support children and families in the future.''
The £4.5 million investment will be drawn from the wider £270 million Early Years Change Fund, which includes a Scottish Government contribution of £50 million over the next 4 years.
Development and governance of the Change Fund and the corresponding activity will be overseen by the Early Years Task Force.