The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act includes provisions that will:
- From August 2014 increase the amount and flexibility of free Early Learning and Childcare from 475 to a minimum of 600 hours per year for 3 and 4 year olds, and 15% of Scotland’s most vulnerable 2 year olds. From August 2015 this will extend to 27% of the most vulnerable 2 year olds;
- Provide Free School Lunches to all children in primary 1–3 by January 2015;
- Ensure better permanence planning for looked after children by giving all 16 year olds in care the right to stay in care until the age of 21 from 2015; extend the support available to young people leaving care for longer (up to the age of 26), and support the parenting role of kinship carers;
- Enshrine elements of the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach in law, ensuring there is a single planning approach for children who need additional support from services, providing a single point of contact for every child and providing a holistic understanding of wellbeing;
- Create new duties in relation to the UNCRC and strengthen the Children’s Commissioner role; and
- Strengthen existing legislation that affects children, including a number of amendments to the process for school closure proposals under the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.