SNP Ministers to legislate to ensure early years funding for all 4-year-olds across Scotland
SNP ministers have confirmed that they will legislate to ensure equality for all children whose start at school is deferred until after they are five-years-old.
Currently, legislation states that any parent can defer entry to school if their child’s fifth birthday falls after the scheduled first day of Primary 1, but only children born in January and February automatically receive a further year’s funding for nursery.
The Give Them Time group has campaigned to ensure all children deferred under legislation are entitled to full funding.
Coatbridge & Chryston MSP Fulton MacGregor has been at the forefront of championing the cause of the campaign, leading a member’s debate in May this year, which saw cross-party consensus that change was needed, and forcing the issue onto the Scottish Government’s agenda.
Commenting on today’s news, Fulton MacGregor said:
‘I am delighted that this SNP Government is taking action to ensure that all children are given an equal right to funding for early years childcare when they are not ready for school.
‘This is an issue that I have been passionate about and have been happy to offer my full support to the amazing Give Them Time campaign. They have already had some success, with North Lanarkshire Council becoming the largest local authority to agree to fund all deferred children following an SNP motion at their last meeting.
‘Unfortunately their efforts haven’t been as successful elsewhere with some local authorities refusing to alter their policy on funding. It is clear that legislation is the only way to bring about equality across Scotland.
‘This news will be greeted with joy by all those who have fought so hard for parents across Scotland and I am so pleased that their efforts have got us to this stage.’