School nursery, private day nursery, playgroup and child minder places are now available for two-year-olds in the region who qualify for 600 free hours of learning and childcare.
Parents or carers who receive Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance or State Pension Credit could be entitled to the free hours for their two-year-olds. Two-year-olds who are looked after, under a kinship care order or with a parent appointed guardian, are also eligible.
Once a child becomes entitled to extra hours they will remain so even if their parent or carer becomes employed or their situation with their parent or carer changes.
Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for education said: “These changes will provide more flexibility and support for certain parents and carers, and will also help to develop their child’s social development, language and learning skills.
“Our staff and local childcare providers have been working hard to make sure they are prepared to cater for those who qualify for free early learning and childcare. I would encourage those who are eligible to apply now.”