SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed new funding from the Scottish Government to expand early years childcare and free school meals across the Western Isles.
The First Minister announced in the Programme for Government that in this parliamentary year the Scottish Government will significantly invest to expand free school meals and provisions for early year care.
The funding will ensure that all primary school pupils receive a free school lunch – a vital step to eradicating child poverty in the Western Isles and across Scotland. This expands on existing measures that already see all Primary 1 to 5 pupils currently receive free school meals.
There will also be an expansion of support available for increase access to funded childcare for eligible 2-year-olds, supporting more island parents return to work.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:
“This investment from the SNP Government will ensure that working families and struggling households throughout our islands are supported through the Westminster cost-of-living crisis.
“The Scottish Government has made it a national mission to eradicate child poverty. This move to expand free school meals to all primary school pupils during this parliament will go a long way to making sure this becomes a reality.
“Expanding free childcare and increasing childcare staff salaries will also be warmly welcomed by parents across the Western Isles. Supporting families with affordable and accessible childcare strengthens the local economy and increases positive outcomes
“Helping families get through the Westminster cost-of-living crisis is the SNP Government’s main priority and expanding childcare and free school meals will help deliver that.”