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Early Learning & Child Care Funding

From 2014 Local Authorities have a duty to provide 600 hours of Early Learning and Childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds and some eligible 2 year olds who's parents wish is. These 600 hours can be accessed at different settings across East Lothian including First Step.

"Scotland's free Early Learning and Childcare helps to give children a great start to their education. It encourages them to learn through play with other children and promotes the development of language and social skills in a safe and fun environment. It also helps them prepare for school. It's good for parents too, giving them the flexibility they need to organise family life. It also allows parents to get back to work, study or training.'"
                                                   (Scottish Government, 2015)

Broadly speaking all children become eligible for the funding from the term after their third birthday. Funded places are also available for two year olds if their parent or carer receives one of the following benefits
  • Income support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income-based)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-based)
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105*
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £6,420; or the working Tax credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for working Tax Credit)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit
Further information on Funded Early Learning and Child Care can be found here.