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Children and Young People Bill passed, 19/02/14 [S]

Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell has welcomed Parliament’s backing for new laws to provide greater support for children and families.

The Children and Young People Bill will deliver more funded, flexible early learning and childcare of at least 600 hours a year for three- and four-year-olds and the most vulnerable two year olds – delivering a saving of around £700 per child per family per year – from August.

Other provisions in the Bill will see:

• From April 2015, teenagers in residential, foster or kinship care who turn 16 gaining new rights to remain ‘looked-after’ up to the age of 21, as well as extended entitlement to aftercare up to their 26th birthday.

• New duties placed on Ministers and the wider public sector to promote children’s rights, as well increased powers given to Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner.

• Kinship carers gaining enhanced legal entitlements to assistance.

• Scotland’s National Adoption Register placed in statute, improving prospects for finding homes for vulnerable young children.

• Counselling and other support provided for vulnerable children and their families.

• Improved provision of advice and help when needed for children and families from early years to adulthood, including providing a ‘named person’ for each child – usually their health visitor or head/senior teacher – available as a single point of contact.

• Every primary 1 to 3 child gaining the option of a free school lunch from next January.

• Strengthened legislation on school closures, including new requirements and improved transparency for closure proposals, particularly in rural communities.

For full details see the Scottish Government and Parliament websites.

Further Information

Scottish Government news release

Scottish Parliament Official Report 19 February 2014