Increasing childcare in disadvantaged areas

First Minister Humza Yousaf announces to support families as he visited Ayr United Football Academy’s holiday club.
Sophie Law

Councils can now apply for their share of £4.5 million to support the provision of after school and holiday clubs for Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

The funding will help improve both indoor and outdoor spaces in the school estate, with schools also encouraged to consider wider community needs.

First Minister Humza Yousaf set out details of the funding as he convened a national anti-poverty summit in Edinburgh today.

The First Minister said:

"Tackling poverty must be a shared priority for us all and this summit offers the opportunity to listen to a wide range of views to help us take the right action to drive down inequality across Scotland.

"Helping families deal with cost of living pressures is one of our key priorities and providing further funding for affordable and accessible school age childcare will help deliver that.

“Funded school age childcare supports parents and carers into work and enables them to support their families, while also providing a nurturing environment for children to take part in a wide range of activities.

“Scotland already has the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK. All three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds are entitled to 1,140 hours a year of funded early learning and childcare. We are working with partners to make further progress, with plans to develop a funded early learning and childcare offer for one and two-year-olds by 2026, focusing on those who need it most.”


The Scottish Government will provide a £4.5m recurring Capital Fund, managed and administered by Scottish Futures Trust, to deliver improvements to the school estate that will support the provision of before and after school and holiday clubs within Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities. The intention is that the fund will be limited to the school estate (both indoor and outdoor spaces) for year one, but schools will be encouraged to consider wider community needs and spaces where children want to be after school or during the holidays, particularly where links or partnerships already exist.

The £4.5m fund will be open to all Local Authorities who will be required to demonstrate how they have worked in partnership with school age childcare and activities providers, to be ambitious in their ideas, and to define projects which will deliver benefit for children and families, particularly those from low-income areas.

Funded school age childcare is targeted at families on the lowest incomes, specifically the six priority family types identified in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan (lone parent families, minority ethnic families, families with a disabled adult or child, families with a younger mother [under 25], families with a child under one, and larger families.)