Thousands of children from low-income families will benefit from free childcare, activities and healthy food as part of a £10 million initiative.
School holidays can be hard for many families, especially as the cost of living crisis worsens.
To help households cope with expenses, the government has launched a £10 million summer scheme for children and young people aged five to 14.
The funding has been allocated to local authorities to supplement existing holiday programmes or to develop new ones.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “This funding means children and young people who really need it will be able to access coordinated childcare, activities and nutritious food over the summer.
“They will have opportunities to play, socialise and access a range of activities that broaden their experiences and supplement their learning.
“Support will be targeted at the six priority family types at greatest risk of poverty, including lone parent families and families with a disabled adult or child.”
She added that the Scottish Government is on a “national mission” to tackle child poverty.
“With £21.75 million in funding for alternative holiday food provision for families eligible for free school meals, this offer will provide much-needed support over the summer,” she said.
A scheme that ‘will make a difference’
Country leaders are encouraging local authorities to work closely with the third sector, the out-of-school care sector and community and youth groups.
The aim is to design and run services and activities that reflect the needs of local families.
Councillor Tony Buchanan, Cosla’s children and young people‘s spokesman, said that the cost of living crisis is hurting many across the country.
“The rising cost of living is exacerbating the already stark and unacceptable reality of poverty in the lives of children, young people, families and communities,” he said.
“This additional funding will enable local authorities to build on their regular summer programmes to enhance opportunities and support for priority groups of children and young people.
“Councils and their local delivery partners will provide varied programmes, incorporating activities, childcare, and food provision, in line with local needs and guided by what children, young people, and families themselves say will make a difference.”
The Press and Journal and Evening Express is working to help families in need through its Big Food Appeal.
We’re highlighting the help that is out there via foodbanks, community larders and community fridges. We’ve been working to dispel some of the myths around who is entitled to the help too – as well as showing off some of our local champions working to keep their communities fed.