Free nursery care system called unfair

The current system for providing free nursery care for youngsters has been branded “grossly unfair”.

Independent think-tank Reform Scotland made the claim in a new report which said some children could receive almost one year less of government-funded nursery education, depending on when their birthday falls.

It has now called for all youngsters to receive two full years of funded nursery provisions.

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To achieve this aim, it suggested government-funded provision for all youngsters should begin at a fixed point in the year - probably August – two years before children start at school.

“Every child should be entitled to two years of government-funded nursery provision, regardless of when their birthday falls,” it says

Alison Payne, research director at the think-tank, said: “It cannot be deemed to be fair that children and hard-pressed families are offered divergent periods of funded nursery provision.”