Partnership provides after-school activities for low-income families in Scotland

A partnership between the Scottish government and the Scottish Football Association is supporting low-income families with before-school, after-school and holiday activities for around 2,700 children each week.

The Extra Time programme was launched by the First Minister with a £2 million Scottish government investment last year and aims to tackle poverty by delivering accessible and affordable activity clubs for children from low-income families.

Dundee United Sports Club provides support during term time and school holidays. The club has received £95,000 from the fund. Deputy First Minister Shona Robison visited and said: "School holidays should be a time for fun and enjoyment for children, but for many families it is a time of added financial pressure.

“Scotland currently has one of the most generous childcare offers in the UK, and our investment in early learning and childcare, and school age childcare, is a key part of our goal to tackle child poverty.

“We are committed to building a system of school age childcare that helps to support parents and carers into employment, training or study. Our investment is helping to reduce inequalities that exist for children from lower income families who might otherwise struggle to participate in activities before or after school or during the holidays.

“Our Extra Time partnership with the Scottish Football Association is in the early stages of delivery, but we are already seeing the positive impacts that access to term time and holiday clubs are having on both children and parents. For example, we have early evidence from families that they feel better supported to work, with children seeing the benefits of increased physical activity as well as other benefits such as improved attendance, and improved behaviour at school."

Chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, Ian Maxwell, said: “It is fantastic to see the impact this vital programme is already having across the country since its launch last year, building on the initial success of the pilot in Ayr.

“Every child should have the opportunity to experience our national game and play with their friends within their local communities. There is no doubt that initiatives such as the Extra Time programme help remove barriers for children and their families around accessing after school and holiday activity clubs.

“We are appreciative of the continued support of the Scottish Government on this project, as we continue to pursue avenues in which the power of football can make a tangible difference in the lives of people in Scotland.”

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