Proposals to offer more free hours of early learning and childcare to families of 3 and 4 year olds who earn £30,000 or less have been agreed by elected members following a paper put forward by City convener for education at today's (Thursday 22 March) City Administration Committee.
This means that parents and carers who have an income of £30,000 or less and who already access their statutory 600 free hours of childcare will now be offered 900 free hours in council run nurseries and early learning centres.
Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years said: "The decision today is good news for Glasgow's working families who use our nurseries for early learning and childcare.
"Glasgow early years provision is amongst the highest quality in the country and we are continuing to make it as accessible and flexible as possible to meet the changing demands of Glasgow's families and as we work towards 1140 free hours by 2020.
"We currently offer 3 and 4 year olds 800 free hours to families who earn £25,000 or less which is 200 hours more than the national entitlement. We will now increase this to 900 hours and raise the threshold to families earning £30,000 or less.
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· There are a total of 12,800 children attending our nurseries.
· Approximately 8,000 children in our nurseries receive free early learning and childcare either because their parents only want to access the free entitlement offered (600 hours or 800 hours) or they are eligible through our admissions policy under Band 1 and Band 2.
· In addition to this, reduced rates are offered to kinship carers and some vulnerable families in line with our admissions policy.
· Figures from Glasgow Centre for Population and Health show that there are around 3,000 families who would potentially benefit from this expansion of the entitlement as outlined in the committee report and decision to raise the threshold to families on an income of £30,000 or less.
· The new proposal will see more families receive free early learning and childcare in council nurseries and a way of helping working families