For immediate release:
6,000 SOUTH LANARKSHIRE CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM FREE EARLY LEARNING AND CHILDCARE
The number of children benefitting from free early learning and childcare in South Lanarkshire stands at 5,890 – saving the average family £5,000 per eligible child on childcare costs.
Among the local children who are eligible, 429 two-year-olds and 5,016 three- and four-years olds are taking up the offer.
Across Scotland, 83,237 children aged between two and five were accessing the full 1,140 hours of ELC for free.
Figures also show the number of children accessing free ELC has increased by 3% on the previous year.
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey said:
“Scotland is the only part of the UK to offer 1,140 hours a year of funded early learning and childcare to all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.
“This offer saves South Lanarkshire families £5,000 per eligible child, which is particularly important at a time when so many are struggling with cost of living pressures. It also supports parents into work, training or study.
“High-quality ELC benefits children, too, by enriching their early years and giving them the confidence and skills they need to prepare them for school.
“The Scottish Government intends to expand our childcare offer even further, including building a future system of school age childcare and a new early learning and childcare offer for one and two-year-olds, starting with those who need it most.”