More than 900 free nursery places for two-year-olds are being offered to parents in Glasgow, North Ayrshire and Dundee in a pound;2 million Scottish Executive project.
This was confirmed yesterday (Thursday) by Margaret Curran, Minister for Parliamentary Business, during a visit to the Bridgeton Family Learning Centre in Glasgow. The pilot scheme is being targeted at families who need help the most, such as those dogged by poverty and drug addiction, allowing their children to start nursery a year early.
In an unusual move, Radio Clyde's "cash for kids" charity is providing Pounds 200,000 for the project, enabling it to fund three community outreach workers.
The executive's move follows the Holyrood inquiry into the early years which, among other things, concluded that Scotland was falling behind in its support for the very youngest children.
Bronwen Cohen, chief executive of Children in Scotland, welcomed a "stimulating,creative environment" for two-year-olds but worried that targeting vulnerable families could stigmatise their children.