EDUCATION bosses have announced plans to provide as many families as possible with 1140 hours of funded childcare from August.

A Scottish Government pledge, to be carried out by local authorities, said all children aged three to five and some two-year-olds should be entitled to 1140 hours of free childcare.

But the pledge was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis leaving parents and carers with what has been described as a "postcode lottery" of provision, depending on the council area they live in.

Now Glasgow City Council has said that if public health advice is changed at the next announcement on July 30, families will be offered the full 1140 hours.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years, said: “This has been a long few months for us all and I know that any uncertainty over childcare is not ideal but we need to have all the contingency plans in place for the different scenarios we could be facing.

“What I want to say to parents is that we are doing everything that we can to make sure we can offer what we could before lockdown and that we will continue our efforts to make sure that no family is disadvantaged but this depends on a number of factors outwith our control.”

If the government announcement on July 30 allows all children and young people to return to schools and nurseries full-time in August then 1140 hours will be offered to as many eligible families as possible.

The following will apply across the city:

•In council nurseries, where capacity may still be affected by workforce availability, priority for 1140 hours will be given to single working parents or two working parents households and to vulnerable families.

All other eligible families would be offered at least 600 hours, dependent on the capacity of the nursery and availability of staff.

•Partnership nurseries will be paid for the hours they can deliver within any new guidance, which would be between 600 hours and 1140 hours.

• Cross-boundary funding, which supports families who need to access nursery places in other council areas, would continue within the existing protocol, as agreed across the eight West Partnership local authorities, for up to a maximum of 1140 hours.

Mr Cunningham added: “We know that this has been a very anxious time for our families.

Glasgow Times:

“In February, before the global health pandemic and lockdown, Glasgow was well on track to deliver 1140 hours of fully funded early learning and childcare.

“Around 87 per cent of council nursery capacity was being used to deliver 1140 hours - a real boost for working parents and Glasgow’s children.

“Our hope is that following the Scottish Government announcement on July 30 we will be able to continue to improve the offer to as many of our families as possible.

“This will help our working parents who are starting to be asked to return to the workplace and for parents who are returning to full time education."