John has welcomed the passing of new legislation which will mean better support for children and families in need, an increase the number of hours of pre-school childcare to 600 and increase the age children leave local authority care to 21.
As a Director of the Highland Homeless Trust in Inverness, which helps young care leavers gain vital life skills enabling them to live independently, John was especially pleased that the needs of care leavers were tackled by the Bill.
By introducing a named guardian for every child in Scotland, families will be able to access help from health visitors, teachers and other professionals much more easily than they are currently. The named guardian scheme has been running successfully, as a pilot scheme, in the Highland Council area since 2010.
Families across the Highlands and Islands will also benefit from an increase in childcare for 3 & 4 year olds and vulnerable 2 year olds to 600 hours per year.
Commenting after the Bill’s passing John said:
“Often childcare bills exceed mortgage or rent payments and can be a major barrier to a parent or carer working. Easing the financial burden faced by parents and by introducing greater flexibility on when these hours can be used will make a positive impact on many families.”
“Children and young people who have been brought up in care are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Increasing the age at which care leavers can leave local authority care will ensure that they are supported much longer, giving them a much better start in life.”