South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod this week welcomed news that Dumfries and Galloway will benefit from a share of Scottish government funding which comes from the £18 million allocated from the Early Years Change Fund last year.
The allocations will help Scottish charities work with councils to support families who need extra help including access to out of hours support and parenting advice.
Dumfries and Galloway will receive £200,000 to support a joint initiative between the local council and the Scottish Pre-School Play Association aimed at improving parental involvement in their children’s development.
Dr McLeod said: “I am delighted the region is benefiting from a share of the Scottish government’s Early Years Change Fund.
“The Scottish government wants families to have the help they need. That is why it will provide more free nursery care – saving families £700 a year per child. The intention is also to make nursery care more flexible. By next year, councils must ask what parents want and offer a choice. Together with the extra hours, this could mean two days a week instead of a few hours a morning or afternoon, helping parents into a job or training.
“However, some families need more direct support. This could be a source of advice on parenting or a neutral place to allow parents and children to spend time together. This funding will help charities across Scotland provide exactly that type of targeted help.
“This announcement also shows how decisions taken in Scotland are giving Scottish families the help they need. It will help harness the expertise of those working in charities to help local councils deliver for families and maximise Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”