Following extensive engagement to reach a shared understanding of the costs of the expansion, Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders have reached agreement on a multi-year funding package.
The Scottish Government will invest an additional £567 million per year by 2021-22, bringing total spending on early learning and childcare to around £990 million.
All three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds, will be entitled to 1140 hours of free childcare – effectively mirroring the primary school week.
In addition, the Scottish Government will provide councils with total capital funding of £476 million over four years to support associated buildings projects.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“East Lothian and Midlothian families will benefit from our share of almost £1 billion funding each year to support our ambitious expansion of free childcare.
“The SNP are determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up – and our childcare expansion will be of enormous help to families with young children.
“By almost doubling the availability of free childcare, parents will save hundreds of pounds a month and many will find it easier to return to work or to increase their working hours.
“This is a significant investment in families in my constituency and across Scotland.”