The announcement by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, follows recommendations from an independent expert group to join up various funding streams to better target investment in children, families and communities, particularly around preventative action and early intervention.
The current Unified Voluntary Sector Fund (UVSF) and Early Years Early Action Fund will continue until March 2013, at which point the new fund will come on stream, bolstering other early intervention funds including the recently launched £6m Communities and Families Fund.
Ms Campbell said: “The voluntary sector has a significant role to play in realising our ambition to make Scotland the best place for children to grow up. The new £20m fund will be designed to support that ongoing effort.
“The Scottish Government has invested heavily in children and families. We know that for every £1 spent in the early years, another £9 can be saved in later years through prevention.
“There will be no break in the funding available to the many organisations delivering for children and families while the new fund is developed.”