Funding boost for childcare in NLC

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More jobs will be created and families in North Lanarkshire are set to benefit from more free and flexible nursery care in 2014/2015 thanks to the Scottish Government providing an extra £50.8 million to councils.

North Lanarkshire Council is set to receive the third highest amount of any local authority in Scotland of £3,323,000 in order to improve free childcare throughout the area.

Andrew Sutherland, executive director of learning and leisure services, explained: “This funding will allow us to provide for parents and carers increased free, flexible childcare across all nursery centres, classes and partner nurseries to enable parents to return to work or extend their hours of working. Morning and afternoon sessions will be extended by 40 minutes and nursery centres will continue to provide a flexible approach to care appropriate to the needs of families.

“In order to deliver this increased service and to ensure that all children receive a quality early learning experience we will be recruiting more early years and childcare workers, which will also improve employment opportunities across the council.”

Councillor Jim Logue added: “Our aim is for North Lanarkshire to be the best place for our children to grow up in.”

MSP Jamie Hepburn also welcomed the funding, saying: “I’m sure the people of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth will benefit greatly from more flexible child care. The Scottish Government has always been committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society and giving children the best start in life possible.”