Ruth Maguire MSP has today encouraged childcare providers to apply to a new fund now open to assist childcare providers meet the extra costs of complying with public health guidance.

The Transitional Support Fund, part of £11.2 million support announced for the childcare sector, will help pay for things like increased cleaning, new or additional equipment, better outdoor spaces or adaptations to buildings.

Grants from the Transitional Support Fund will be available to all private and voluntary or not-for-profit registered day care of children providers, not just those delivering funded early learning and childcare.

Grant amounts will vary according to the size of the childcare setting and will be based on Care Inspectorate registered capacity.

Within the £11.2 million of support for the childcare sector there will be a further announcement about further funding for the Childminding Workforce Support Fund in the coming weeks.

The SNP MSP said: “The restarting of childcare services are crucial to restoring a sense of routine for families in addition to the wider economic benefits for the community.

“Every sector of our economy has felt the effects of this pandemic. I would encourage all childcare providers who are eligible to apply for this funding in North Ayrshire to do so in order to help ensure that they can allow their services to safely resume. At a time where businesses are facing additional costs to comply with health guidelines, this will be a huge help.”

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “Childcare has been central to the COVID-19 response and I want to thank all childcare providers who remained open to provide critical childcare throughout the pandemic.

“Since the wider reopening, childcare settings have had to adapt and have been extremely diligent in implementing public health measures to reassure staff and parents that they are safe. We also know that additional cleaning, or changing the layout of premises, comes at an extra cost.

“Childcare plays a critical role in Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID-19 in supporting children’s development and helping parents return to work, so I am pleased this fund is now open for applications to help the sector in what have been very challenging times.”

You can apply to the Transitional Support Fund at Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector.