Nicola Sturgeon with some youngsters

Spending on childcare will double to £840m a year by 2021-22 in a bid to transform the life chances of children in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to invest in a near doubling of entitlement to 1140 hours – around 30 hours a week – of free early learning and childcare from August 2020.

The move will ensure high-quality learning and care is available for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds and is expected to save parents around £350 per child, per month.

The First Minister said: “Currently we deliver around 16 hours of early education and childcare a week, that’s already an expansion.

“But some parents still struggle to find and fund the childcare they need to allow them to work. We are going to change that.

“By 2020, we will deliver 30 hours a week for every three and four-year-old and eligible two-year-olds.

“It will give children the best start in life. It will free parents to find work and, each month, it will save families around £350 per child on the costs of childcare.”