The campaign for a further year of nursery funding for ALL children deferring primary one start in Scotland.

cropped-gtt2.jpgGive 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.



Do you believe that ALL children with a legal right to defer p1 start in Scotland (not just Jan/Feb borns but any child with a birthday after the school commencement date in Aug and end of Feb) should be entitled to a further year of funded nursery at the same nursery (mid-Aug to end Dec born children are currently only guaranteed 1.5 years of funded nursery compared to 2 & 1/3 years for deferred Jan/Feb borns)? Do you live in North Lanarkshire or know anyone who feels this way who does? Please read on if so.


Councillors at North Lanarkshire’s full council meeting this Thurs 20th June are voting on whether to change their policy to automatically fund all requests for a further year of nursery for children whose parents are taking up their right to defer them.

An SNP councillor is raising this proposal (motion) in NLC (the campaign is not affiliated with any political party) however, if the Conservative and/or Labour councillors in NLC don’t vote for the motion then it won’t happen as the SNP don’t have a  majority of seats in the Council. We’re talking about an average of 6 kids each year over the last 6 years who have been refused this. An annual average of 26 apply and a lot of time is spent by senior staff writing reports and sitting on panels deciding who gets this funding. The Give Them Time campaign thinks this is a waste of taxpayers’ money and undermining of parents’ legal right to defer their child.

If you live in North Lanarkshire, or know anyone who does who you can share this with, please take 5 mins to quickly tweak then email this template letter to your 3 or 4 councillors. You can email all of them at once by entering your postcode here and pasting the letter: https://www.writetothem.com

You just need to tweak it by adding your address, completing the sentence on why you support automatic funding and adding your name at the end.

Thanks in advance.



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.

You can read more here at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/government-accused-of-failing-to-close-free-childcare-loophole-1-4932330



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 name.surname.msp@parliament.scot. 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: givethemtime.scotland@gmail.com


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.






“Upstart Scotland heartily supports the Give Them Time campaign. All parents wishing to defer their children’s entry to formal schooling should be supported to do so by their local authorities. Scotland’s extraordinarily early school starting age has always disadvantaged many children and – due to lifestyle changes over recent decades – the need to focus on health, well-being and outdoor play during early childhood
grows greater every year. Until Upstart achieves our aim of a relationship-centred, play based kindergarten stage for all three- to seven-year-olds, it’s vital that parents’ right to defer school entry is upheld.”

Sue Palmer, Chair of Upstart Scotland


“Connect fully supports the ‘Give Them Time’ campaign for deferral for children who need it. A child-centred and child-led education system must put children’s needs first. We’re aware that in some areas, parents are not advised of children’s rights to deferral. Worse still, deliberately obstructive practices and misleading information are used to discourage parents from applying for deferral for their child and exercising their rights. Processes for applying can be complicated, bureaucratic and slow. Families have a right to clear information and to fair, open procedures for applying for deferral. They are also entitled to know what their legal rights are.”


Eileen Prior, Executive Director of parents’ organisation, Connect