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Scotland is proposing to increase the amount of flexible early learning and childcare, in a bid to offer the “the best package of flexible childcare in the UK”.
The proposed legislation in the Scottish Children and Young People Bill will give three and four-year-olds, and some two-year-olds, 600 hours annual care, which will be a 125-hour increase.
Minister for Children and Young People in Scotland, Aileen Campbell, said it will be “the best package of flexible childcare in the UK, designed to make it easier for parents to access work, education or training”.
The proposed legislation will help parents structure their childcare to best suit their family’s needs as well as:
• Increasing the amount of flexible, early learning and childcare to a minimum of 600 hours annually for three and four-year-olds and looked after two-year-olds
• Embedding the ‘Getting it right for every child’ (GIRFEC) approach in a single system of planning and delivery across children's services
• A requirement for public bodies to design, plan and deliver policies and services that focus on improving children and young people's wellbeing
• Improving Scotland's care system to ensure it offers effective, efficient support for children and families, centred on short and long term needs
Ms Campbell said: “The Scottish Government’s vision for children and young people is clear: we want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up.
“As part of this new Bill, I want to put in place the best and most flexible package of family support in the UK to help Scotland’s parents, children and our wider economy.
“We have a huge opportunity to make the most important changes to public services in a generation and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and the wider debate on the future of children's rights and services in our country."
The consultation on the Children and Young People Bill runs for 12 weeks with the deadline for submissions being September 25.
It will provide an opportunity for stakeholders, professionals, parents and carers and children and young people to have their say on the future shape of children's services and the Scottish Government's approach to delivering change.
Image: Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell