The campaign for a further year of nursery funding for ALL children deferring primary one start in Scotland.
Give Them Time is a grassroots movement which evolved in summer 2018 from parents across Scotland sharing their own, often difficult, experiences of applying for a further year of nursery funding for their child.
If you are affected by deferral issues, join the Deferral Support Scotland Facebook group. It was set up in May 2018, initially for parents but now early years’ staff too, to help them find out about the law on deferral, the policy in their local authority and to give them the opportunity to discuss related issues. As at June 2019, it has almost 1200 members.
Councillors in North Lanarkshire voted unanimously to automatically fund a further year of nursery for all children in a major victory for the Give Them Time campaign.
The additional year of funding allows parents to legally defer when their child starts Primary 1 and now includes children born between mid-August and the 31st December.
North Lanarkshire is Scotland’s fourth largest local authority and if they can pledge this funding in the current economic climate then it is surely something all councils should be doing?
The decision is welcome news, but the campaign will be keeping up the pressure until every local authority in Scotland funds nursery places for all deferred children.
Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson Iain Gray referenced the campaign whilst questioning the Scottish Government about the disparities in access to funding for parents choosing to defer their children.
Mr Gray highlighted the “national policy contradiction” between parents’s legal right to defer their children and also their entitlement to funded childcare for three and four-year-old children.
Today our motion will be debated in the Scottish Parliament finally giving a voice to the many parents across the country with experience of the deferral funding process. Below some parents outline why they are supporting our campaign.
You can follow the debate here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48091273
The motion in support of the campaign’s aims will be debated in the Scottish parliament on Wed 1st May at 5pm. 73 MSPs (of the 101 who are able to) have signed the motion but we need to get them to attend the debate. Please edit and email this template letter to all of your MSPs (one constituency and seven regional) to ask them to attend. Their email addresses follow the format of email@example.com. To find out who yours are, enter your postcode at this link: https://www.parliament.scot/mspfinder/index.html
If you would like to attend, please email for tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org
The campaign was featured on BBC Scotland’s flagship news and current affairs programme The Nine. Watch here from 33:45
MSPs Fulton MacGregor and Iain Gray asked John Swinney (Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills) questions about the Give Them Time campaign in parliament today. Watch here from 14:21:07 – 14:24:25.