Minister announces £3 million after-school care fund to tackle child poverty

The Scottish Government is investing £3 million in after-school care and holiday clubs for youngsters as part of its “bold vision” of abolishing child poverty.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell revealed a new Access to Childcare Fund was being set up to look at how flexible and affordable out of school care could help poorer families.

The announcement came ahead of a statement at the Scottish Parliament on tackling child poverty.

The cost of after-school care can often prevent parents from taking up work or training opportunities.

Meanwhile, ministers are also concerned some children from poorer families can end up being isolated during the school holidays – with this having a knock-on effect on their attainment, well-being and learning.

Ms Campbell said: “The evidence shows that providing accessible and affordable out-of-school childcare can help low income families maximise their household incomes.

“Importantly, it can also deliver positive outcomes for children, providing opportunities for play and socialisation which is great for their well-being.”

She added: “Child poverty levels are lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK but we believe it is unacceptable it exists at all.

“This fund is part of the Scottish Government’s bold vision for eradicating child poverty in Scotland.

“Our efforts stretch right across Government to support the families that need it the most – and these efforts are already making a real difference to thousands of families.”

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