Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, was welcomed to the Cowgate Under Fives Centre earlier today by Head teacher Lynn McNair. He was there to see for himself some childcare in action, meet some early years apprentices and  to announce an increase in government spending on apprenticeships. This is all part of the government’s expansion of free nursery and childcare.

The Scottish Government has doubled the amount of funding for childcare from 600 to 1140 hours by 2020 supported by £243 million in the 2018-19 draft budget. This includes £54.3 million to expand and uk-skill the early learning and childcare workforce.

Deputy First Minister announces increases for funded childcare from The Edinburgh Reporter On Vimeo on Vimeo.

The number of apprentices has risen by 22% over the last five years and Holyrood has now offered an increase of £1,000 to employers. The City of Edinburgh Council will be able to treble the number of apprenticeships this year.

Mr Swinney met some early years apprentices during his visit

The increased funding will also double the number of foundation apprenticeships allowing young people to get work experience while still at school.

Mr Swinney told us : “I want to give every child in Scotland the best start in life, regardless of their background, and our expansion of free early learning and childcare will do just that.

“As well as transforming the choices and chances of children, this policy will save families thousands of pounds in fees every year and further benefit the wider economy through the creation of thousands of new jobs.

“This government is investing an extra £54.3 million this year alone to expand and upskill the early learning and childcare workforce, including through increasing the number of apprenticeships and our national recruitment campaign.”