Bill aims to improve children’s wellbeing
A CONSULTATION on new laws to increase childcare entitlement and improve services for children and young people has been launched.
The proposed Children and Young People Bill includes provisions to increase the amount of flexible, early learning and childcare to a minimum of 600 hours a year for three and four-year-olds and looked-after two-year-olds.
The bill also provides measures to improve the care system and a requirement for public bodies to deliver policies and services that focus on improving children’s wellbeing.
Launching the consultation on the bill yesterday, children’s minister Aileen Campbell said: “I want to put in place the best and most flexible package of family support in the UK to help Scotland’s parents, children and our wider economy.
“This legislation will boost our ongoing efforts to strengthen the rights of the child, making Scotland a nation where the rights of children and young people are not only recognised but rooted deeply in our society and across our public services.
“We have a huge opportunity to make the most important changes to public services in a generation and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and the wider debate on the future of children’s rights and services in our country.”
Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes said SNP promises on increased childcare provision dated back to 2007 and should now be delivered.
She said: “Scotland has been lagging behind England on entitlement to free pre-school education for too long.
“After five years, it is only right that the SNP begin to deliver their 2007 pledge.
“The plans to provide free pre-school for looked-after two-year-olds could have been bolder and I hope this will materialise in the revised Bill.”
The consultation on the Bill will run for 12 weeks.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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