Children’s minister announces healthy meals and outdoor play sessions for tots in funded childcare

Ollie Mack, 4, of Inverkeithing, with supply early years officer Elizabeth Souter and Maree Todd MSP, right.
Ollie Mack, 4, of Inverkeithing, with supply early years officer Elizabeth Souter and Maree Todd MSP, right.

A Scottish Government scheme ensuring healthy meals for children in funded childcare was announced in Fife.

Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd announced a new National Standard for early learning and childcare at the Treetop Family Nurture Centre in Inverkeithing.

Developed in collaboration with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), it means from 2020 children in funded childcare places will also be guaranteed outdoor play sessions and all childcare workers paid the real living wage, which is currently £9 an hour.

It is part of the government’s plans to increase early learning and childcare from 600 hours per year to 1,140 hours by 2020.

Ms Todd said: “This is a unique opportunity to transform the way we deliver early learning and childcare, which is why we are using the National Standard to ensure no child in ELC goes hungry or misses out on the benefits of outdoor learning, exercise and play.”

COSLA’s children and young people spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “The National Standard underpins the commitment to nearly double the funded entitlement of early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours per year for three and four-year-olds, and eligible two-year-olds.

“It is intended to ensure that from August 2020 children will receive a high-quality, accessible service aimed at improving outcomes and tackling the poverty-related attainment gap.”

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